5 May 2006

Continued military presence in Honiara being assessed daily

3:35 pm on 5 May 2006

The contingent of Australian, New Zealand, and Fijian soldiers sent to Solomon Islands in the wake of riots in Honiara's Chinatown is continuing to patrol the city.

The deputy special co-ordinator for the Regional Assistance Mission, Paul Ash, says the peaceful election of Manasseh Sogavare yesterday, is a positive step forward.

He says the atmosphere is peaceful and calm and the soldiers on patrol have changed their posture to reflect this.

Mr Ash says the continued presence of the several hundred additional soldiers deployed just over two weeks ago is being assessed on a day by day basis.

"As we assess conditions here in Solomon Islands and is something that that will be discussed with Solomon Islands police and the new government once it's appointed."

Paul Ash