30 Aug 2010

Tonga military detachment returns home from Solomon Islands

1:39 pm on 30 August 2010

Tongan soldiers deployed with the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, including two involved in the shooting dead of a civillian, have returned home.

But officials told the AFP news agency that it's a scheduled move and not connected to the death.

Deputy commander, Toni Fonokalafi, confirmed the 32 soldiers, left the Solomons on Friday at the end of their four-month tour of duty with RAMSI.

The man was killed shortly after the Solomon's elections, when RAMSI troops were called to break up a rock-throwing incident in a village on the outskirts of the capital, Honiara.

It was the first civilian death linked to RAMSI since its arrival seven years ago.

Tonga has so far not responded to Solomons' requests to waive immunity for the soldiers, but it has confirmed it will conduct its own investigation into the shooting.