9 Jan 2008

Vanuatu police boss promises back pay issue will be settled

8:13 am on 9 January 2008

Vanuatu's Police Commissioner has reassured police officers that their back pay claims will be sorted out by the end of the month.

Patu Navoko Lui says the payments to over 500 officers total more than 680,000 US dollars, and date back to 2006 for the period between July and December.

He says the death of the Prime Minister Ham Lini's mother at the end of 2007 caused an unexpected delay in approving the payments by Christmas.

Mr Lui says he has complete confidence in the force, despite the Vanuatu Daily Post reporting threats that some police officers wouldn't perform their full duties until the back pay is sorted.

"Of course, they're patient enough to wait. There's a lot of speculation in the media, and our position, and of course for every member of the force, once the government takes a positive step towards the present situation of the back pay there's no need to speculate or otherwise as to what the police might do, or on what we expect from the police."

Vanuatu's Police Commissioner Patu Navoko Lui

A Council of Ministers meeting is due to take place this week to approve the back pay.