The Australian Federal Police and emergency personnel who arrived in Honiara last week have been deployed on a short term role as members of the RAMSI contingent and the Participating Police Force, PPF.
A statement from the RAMSI Special Coordinator’s office clarifies the statement “Australia Police Here to Protect Mine”, recently published by a local print media.
The statement says the situation in Honiara is being continually assessed and once this support to RSIPF is completed these members will return to Australia.
It says the PPF is a regional policing mission made up of officers from Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island countries, with a focus on supporting the RSIPF.
RAMSI deploys additional personnel to Solomon Islands at the request of the Solomon Islands Government. This follows an increase in the need for security provided by the RSIPF as a result of the devastation caused by the floods in Honiara, parts of Guadalcanal and rest of the country.
Most RSIPF resources have been allocated to search and rescue duties for people still missing after the floods a week ago and other duties as requested by the National Disaster Management Office, NDMO.
Meanwhile, RAMSI Special Coordinator Justine Braithwaite says members of the RAMSI PPF are assisting the RSIPF, who are required to provide security in the community in and around Honiara, including at the Gold Ridge Mine.
She says the new group of RAMSI PPF officers and emergency personnel are providing assistance to the RSIPF, helping them maintain security and safety at the Gold Ridge Mine while potential hazards are assessed.
But she adds, consistent with the Mission’s mandate to help the RSIPF promote law, order and stability, the new RAMSI personnel will also be bolstering local police capacity and supporting operations in Guadalcanal and the provinces as needed.
The Special Coordinator commended the RSIPF and its officers for the leadership they have shown in taking forward the relief effort and in providing security within local communities around the country.