The police commissioner in Solomon Islands has stressed the neutrality of the police force after mass arrests of anti-logging protesters in the country's Western Province.
On Monday 60 members of the local community on Rendova were arrested by police after a week long stand off with foreign loggers at the Vasara logging camp.
Commissioner Matthew Varley said the arrests were a last resort and were only made after several days of attempting to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Mr Varley said it was important that the Solomons public understands that the role of police in such situations is simply to keep the peace and enforce law and order, not to determine whether a logging operation was operating illegally or not.
"That is a job for the forestry commission and indeed we have been engaged with the forestry commission on this operation to make sure that they are working on the resolution of the issue and the concerns of the parties involved."
He said the first lot of arrested suspects who had been processed would be appearing before the local magistrate in the western provincial capital Gizo today.