20 Apr 2006

Fiji sends riot control officers to Honiara

8:54 pm on 20 April 2006

A team of 20 riot control officers from the Fiji Police's Tactical Response Unit has left for Honiara to help restore law and order in the Solomon Islands capital.

Rampaging mobs have completely destroyed Chinatown in Honiara and left much of the rest of the capital looted and burned.

The Fiji officers will join Australian and New Zealand soldiers and police already deployed in Honiara.

They will left Nausori Airport on board a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft at dusk.

The men are equipped with side arms and full riot protection gear.

Fiji's police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says the request for the assistance came in from the Regional Assistance Mission, RAMSI, through diplomatic channels as well as from police to police and has been approved by the caretaker government.