The Democratic Coalition for Change Government (DCCG) is committed in its stand to ensuring the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) develops its operational capabilities so that it has the ability to respond to serious criminal threats and manage the security of Solomon Islands.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare made this assurance at the launching of the RSIPF limited rearmament yesterday at the Rove Police Headquarters.
“You have a tremendous responsibility on your shoulders, and one which you cannot take lightly,” Mr Sogavare told the officers.
He said they are the guardians of tomorrow and have been chosen to lead and to protect the citizens of our Country.
“My Government has all hope and trust in your ability to duly discharge your duties without fear or favour.”
Yesterday’s event saw 125 officers from the Police Response Team (PRT) and the Close Personal Protection (CCP) team pledging their commitment of service by reciting and reaffirming their Oath of Office.
Of that total number of specially trained officers, nine are females.
Mr Sogavare reminded the officers that security is the backbone of any country and the DCCG Government is fully aware of its importance.
“I must assure the people of this nation that security issues are significantly highlighted in the reprioritisation of the DCCG Government.
“The recent influx of blue boats has raised the concerns of Government’s ability to properly police our water.
“But I must take my hat off to the RSIPF and Ministry of Fisheries & Marine Resources and say that the capture of 3 blue boats out of 4 boats is testament that our officers are capable of operational duties.
“The Government in its wisdom saw it necessary to commence the limited rearmament process of RSIPF and has therefore approved the program accordingly.
“Limited rearmament is fundamental to the security of Solomon Islands because it equips the RSIPF with the necessary operational tools and technical skills to help them in the course of their duties.
“Similarly, limited armed capability is also essential to enable the RSIPF to provide protection for our national leaders and other important leaders who visit Solomon Islands.”
He added that the rearmament program is currently developed by focussing on a limited rearmament plan.
The PRT and the CPP are the two units that will be armed.
These two units will also provide security at our international airport.
Mr Sogavare further added that the decision to rearm the RSIPF is not a decision that his Cabinet has taken lightly.
“The fact that you stand before me, is evidence of the trust that the Government of Solomon Islands places in you on behalf of our people,” he told the officers.
“We have entrusted in you the security of our nation especially when RAMSI is poised to exit service.
“Your country asks that you have pledge your honour to the people. They have cried enough and I ask that you hold dear their plea. The plea that weapons are not used ever again against the people it serves to protect.
“You will be faced with hard decisions in the discharge of your duty.
“But I am assured that the intensive training and discipline you have received will guide and provide you with the utmost duty and care in discharging that duty.
“The dedication and commitment to serve this country and its people must always be the foundation of your duty.”
The ceremony yesterday was also attended by Special Coordinator of RAMSI, Minister of Police and Correctional Services Stanley Sofu, top government officers, RSIPF officers, family members and the public.