1 Nov 2005

Commonwealth foresees long-term role for assistance mission to Solomons

8:23 am on 1 November 2005

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Don McKinnon, says the regional assistance mission in Solomon Islands could be needed for some time yet.

During a visit to the capital, Honiara, Mr McKinnon said peacekeepers were the dominant feature in the rehabilitation of Solomon Islands.

He says people could be misled into thinking that Solomon Islands is calm.

Mr McKinnon says even the local people feel far more confident talking to the assistance mission officers than they do to the Royal Solomon Islands police force.

Secretary-General McKinnon is scheduled to meet the Solomons prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, later today.