23 Oct 2006

Melanesian leaders condemn Solomons' police raid on prime minister's office

5:17 pm on 23 October 2006

The leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group of countries have strongly condemned the police action in breaking down the door of the office of Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare last Friday.

During their summit meeting ahead of tomorrow's Forum leaders meeting, the MSG leaders expressed their condemnation of the actions by the Australian staff in the Participating Police Force.

The leaders say the action was provocative, uncalled for, and unnecessary.

They say proper courtesies and protocols could have been observed.

The leaders say the actions are almost certainly a serious violation of Solomon Islands territorial sovereignty and integrity, and are inconsistent with the UN Charter on the Respect for the Principles of Sovereignty.

The MSG Leaders also noted that the actions are inconsistent with the Forum's declaration that all members would at all times be acting to re-inforce Solomon Islands sovereignty and in accordance with Solomon Island laws.

The MSG Leaders say the actions of some PPF officers have brought disrespect to the operations of RAMSI and have tainted the mission's good image and credibility.