31 Jul 2003

Samoa to send 15 police to Solomons in two weeks

4:33 pm on 31 July 2003

A contingent of 15 Samoan police officers are expected to leave for Solomon Islands in two weeks time.

Samoa had offered to send 40 officers to be part of the Australian-led intervention force but the new police commissioner, Papali'itele Lorenese Neru, says only 15 officers were requested at this time.

The commissioner says he thinks the Samoan contingent will be based in Honiara, with normal policing duties.

"They will have to display a high level of integrity, high level of discipline, and treat everyone fairly, going into these island nations... we are going in to help them, to assist them to bring their livelihoods and their lives up to a standard where it's acceptable to normal human life."

The commissioner says the Samoa police officers will be the first of the Pacific island contingents to be sent to Solomon Islands.

He says police from Fiji, Tonga and the Cook Islands will also join the intervention force.