9 Jun 2003

Solomons MP says foreign help vital to restore law and order

3:13 pm on 9 June 2003

A Solomon Islands opposition MP says New Zealand and Australia must intervene directly in solving the critical issues contributing to lawlessness in the Pacific country.

Alfred Sasako says the possibility of New Zealand and Australia sending an armed force to Solomon is only a first step.

A combined Australia/New Zealand mission is expected in Honiara on Tuesday for an assessment of the security and economic situation.

The New Zealand foreign minister, Phil Goff, says it may necessary to send an armed force to restore law and order there.

Mr Sasako says outside intervention is needed because the Solomons government is powerless.

"It does not have the capacity to do anything meaningful at all to address the law and order situation. No policy framework has been announced to address many of these critical areas. For the governments of New Zealand and Australia to leave that entirely to the Kemakeza government is a pie in the sky - the initiative must come from outside."

Alfred Sasako