11 Jun 2003

Solomon Islands speaker supports armed intervention in country

4:21 pm on 11 June 2003

The speaker of the Solomon Islands parliament says he supports the idea of an armed intervention force being brought into the country.

Sir Peter Kenilorea says the divisions within the Solomon Islands police and their lack of resources makes it difficult for them to be able to enforce law and order.

Sir Peter says however, that parliament needs to be recalled to discuss the proposal.

"that obviously edges on our sovereignty and I'm sure that Parliament should be given the opportunity to express its opinion, its guidance and if it needs approval, its approval, and constitutionally we do have our own police to enforce law and order, and if we are to engage others outside, in my view, it has to be discussed by the authority - which is the Parliament members."

Sir Peter says the prime minister, Sir Allen Kemakeza, is attempting to get the finances together in order to recall parliament over this issue.

A delegation from Australia and New Zealand is in Honiara to assess the situation following a government request for help and it will then report on what steps should be taken, including whether armed personnel should be deployed.


An Australian Think Tank says a 150 strong multinational police force would be needed to restore security.

But the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's, Dr Elsina Wainwright, says such a multi national force would not sideline the Solomons police.

Solomon Islands police could be responsible for the day to day policing then you could have the multi-national police force which could be involved in the identifying of criminals and the punishing of people who are involved in serious sorts of corruption and malicious activity and withdrawing of weapons, all the kinds of things the solomon island police force, have proved incapable of doing.

Dr Wainwright says that an agency of donor countries should be implemented in Solomons to control the finances.