30 Aug 2007

RAMSI rejects claim of Solomons' leader that it is withholding information on presence of guns

8:09 pm on 30 August 2007

The Special Co-ordinator of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, or RAMSI, has issued a strong rejection to claims by the Prime Minister that it was withholding information on the presence of weapons in the community.

Tim George says the comments in Parliament by Manasseh Sogavare were simply not true.

He says neither he nor his two predecessors as Special Coordinator had ever said that all weapons had been recovered.

Mr George says RAMSI has been and always will be completely open about the security situation and that it would counterproductive to withhold such information.

He says no one in RAMSI is interested in luring Solomon Islanders into a false sense of security, as the Prime Minister had appeared to suggest.

Mr George says while the incidence of gun-related crimes is now quite rare in Solomon Islands RAMSI is acutely aware that risks remain.