4 Aug 2016

Vanuatu president urges neutrality for police force

3:47 pm on 4 August 2016

Vanuatu President, Baldwin Lonsdale, says current and future governments must make sure they maintain the neutrality of the Vanuatu Police Force.

Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale speaks during an interview with Agence France-Presse in his hotel room minutes before his departure to return home after attending the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai on March 16, 2015.

The Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale Photo: AFP/Toshifumi Kitamura

Father Lonsdale, speaking during the country's independence anniversary celebrations, said neutrality is vital if the Vanuatu Police Force and the Vanuatu Mobile Force, a para-military arm of the police, were to carry out their roles and responsibilities effectively.

Vanuatu's police force has experienced political interference over the years .

The search for a permanent police commissioner is continuing after a shortlist prepared last month was thrown out when the government sacked the head of the Police Service Commission.

That organisation handles the appointment process.