𝐏𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐮𝐭𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐥𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐦𝐬 𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐭 𝐏𝐍𝐆 – 𝐒𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐦𝐨𝐧’𝐬 𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐫
The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) has refuted an online article alleging that two young Bougainville fishermen were assaulted by RSIPF armed officers at the common border with Papua New Guinea (PNG).
In a statement today, RSIPF says the article published online on 15 February 2022 with the headline ‘Tension at PNG Solomon’s border’ is misleading and tarnishes the good reputation of RSIPF officers at the border between PNG and Solomon Islands.
Pictured: RSIPF fast craft patrolling the SI common border with PNG. 𝘗𝘩𝘰𝘵𝘰 𝘊𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘈𝘉𝘊
It says according to a report they received from Forward Commander at Kulitanai Police Station in Shortland Islands on 8, 9, and 10 of February 2022, there were no reports of attack as what was mentioned in the article.
“An inquiry was conducted but there was no incident of such did occurred during the commencement of the deployment until now. There are illegal fishing activities still carried out between our borders and RSIPF Patrol officers always approached them in a good manner, as the mode of operational responsibilities which advised the illegal anglers to return to their villages,” RSIPF Commissioner Mr Mostyn Mangau.
Commissioner Mangau said they have a working relationship with PNG and Bougainville Police tand have common understanding to look at what problems both countries faced in policing the common border.
“Good if the reporter of the article tries to dig deep well into his/her investigative journalism skills to find out more of this story and balance it.
“My media team is always available to deal with inquiries,” Commissioner Mangau says.
The RSIPF Media team can be contacted on phone 677 + 24016 or email them via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SIBC News understands that the online article RSIPF was referring to was a BlogSpot website: bigpatpng.blogspot.
The BlogSpot article also stated that locals are threatening to retaliate.
A similar article was also published in PNG’s leading daily newspaper, Post Courier.
According to the Post Courier, six armed RSIPF officers accosted a small fishing vessel between two islands on Wednesday February 9, and allegedly bashed up two fishermen from Sari village, Buin in the Konnou constituency.
“The fishermen are Watson Leo and Tauku Greg, who were doing nothing wrong except catching fish to feed their families,” it stated.