2 Apr 2008

Tonga to set up Watchmen paramilitary force

4:14 pm on 2 April 2008

There are reports that the Tongan government is setting up a paramilitary force to police Nuku'alofa.

The Tonga Now website reports that the Defence Board has submitted a proposal for funding for what is to be called a Corps of Royal Watchmen.

It says this body will have policing and prosecutorial powers to ensure there is no repeat of the violence and rioting which hit Nuku'alofa in November 2006.

The Watchmen are to be trained by the army and while they will eventually come under the police force, they will be a third arm of the law.

The website reports that the Watchmen may be given horses to help crowd control.