11 Feb 2019

Solomons police see UN missions as a way of giving back

8:58 pm on 11 February 2019

Police in Solomon Islands say their participation in UN peacekeeping missions is a way of giving back to other countries in need.

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Photo: RNZ/Koroi Hawkins

The commissioner of police, Mattew Varley, said the Solomons benefitted greatly from the regional intervention mission, known as RAMSI, which brought an end to a bloody ethnic crisis in 2003 and helped to bring stability to the country up until its departure in 2017.

Small contingents of officers from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) have been participating in UN Peacekeeping missions in Darfur in Western Sudan since 2016.

Mr Varley said preparation of potential canidates for the next rotation was underway.

"We are committed to continuing to send RSIPF officers on UN peace keeping missions," he said.

"It is a small contribution, a modest contribution but we think a very powerful and strategic one for us in terms of our contribution to the world stage."

About 40 RSIPF officers are currently undergoing training and screening in Honiara to be eligible for United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping Missions deployment.

RSIPF Deputy Commissioner Juanita Matanga said the officers undergoing this training can only be eligible after passing various levels.

"For example, driving test, English listening and writing, minimal physical fitness training, medical examination and maybe fire arm training," she said.

"The officers will also have to undergo other training coordinated by the United Nations being finally selected for deployment."

"RSIPF currently has three officers deployed under the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur, Sudan in Africa. They are due to return later this year," she said.