Pressure group, the Malaita Ma’asina Forum (MMF) has said it will not accept Australia’s security deal with Solomon Islands.
Australia has negotiated a security deal with Solomon Islands during the recent Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum in Brisbane.
Speaking to members of the local media, MMF President Charles Dausabea described the deal as insulting and undermining the sovereignty of Solomon Islands.
He says RSIPF policing standards were very high prior to the tension period compared to today, questioning the current RSIPF capability development.
Mr. Dausabea calls on Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells to withdraw her statement which said the end of RAMSI should be seen as a vote of confidence in the Solomon Islands.
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Frank Prendergast said there will be no permanent presence of the Australian Federal Police in the Solomon Islands as was reported.
Mr. Prendergast told a police media conference this week what the security deal anticipates is a capacity development mission to support policing in the country.
“If the discussions result in a capacity development mission in the Solomon Islands, there will be AFP officers here, there’ll be New Zealand police officers here for the purposes of those arrangements and however long those arrangements are in place, they can’t be construed as a permanent presence, so most of those missions are designed either for a two-year or four-year cycle and you’ll have a program of work set out over four years and a conclusion of the four years there’s discussions whether the mission needs to continue, whether there’s funding available for it to continue and you know, if it does, what sort of shape it will take.”
The Police Commissioner adds, such a mission is a fairly normal police support that one can see in Papua New Guinea or East Timor.
“So certainly, if the capacity development mission goes ahead, there’ll be advisors here and am sincerely hope there are, dealing with a range of issues but they won’t be here in the same way or in the same capacity as RAMSI’s been here and certainly it’s not a permanent presence so you won’t see the AFP setting up shop in the Solomons, what you’ll see is a development mission and as I’ve said if you want to see what that looks like, look at PNG, look at East Timor. It’s a fairly normal police support.”