29 Jul 2014

Concerns over Solomons police re-arming

8:27 am on 29 July 2014

A Solomon Islands academic has sounded a note of caution about moves to re-arm the local police force.

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Photo: RNZ

The government recently authorised the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands to commence the limited reintroduction of firearms into the Royal Solomon Islands Police.

Dr Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka, from the University of Hawai'i's Center for Pacific Islands Studies, says caution should be taken over the re-armament issue given the experiences leading up to and during the ethnic tensions.

"I would be really, really, cautious and raise the question - why are we re-arming ourselves, who are we fighting against? Our past experiences have shown that when we have arms, we use it against our own nationals and therefore, I'm not certain whether this is the time to re-arm Solomon Islands police."

Dr Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka.