The issue of security at the common Solomon Islands – Papua New Guinea border was discussed when the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) Assistant Commissioner (AC) Provincial Joseph Manelugu met with the Premier of Choiseul Province, Hon. Watson Qoloni at Taro on 25 June 2020.
AC Manelugu says, “The meeting with the Honourable Premier was to discuss some issues relating to policing in Choiseul Province including the issue of the common border with Papua New Guinea (PNG).”
“I told the Choiseul Provincial Premier Hon. Qoloni that policing at the common border with PNG is not as easy as one may think. There are challenges which the RSIPF faces including the current COVID-19 Emergency Zone Operation. The idea is to discuss the possibility of the Zone also covering Choiseul Province. At the moment it only covers the Shortland Islands in the Western Province.”
“But with the current RSIPF Operation it does not mean that officers in the Shortlands will not attend to any call from the Provincial Police Commander (PPC) at Taro. When there is a need for a response they will contain the situation before frontline officers from Taro can deal with the issue.”
AC Manelugu adds: “A muster was conducted for officers at the Taro Police Station on 26 June 2020 during which I acknowledged the good work displayed by our officers especially cooperating with other government law enforcement agencies like Customs and Immigrations to prevent the COVID-19 from entering our western border. I encouraged officers to maintain their discipline at all times as people are always watching them.”
AC Manelugu and his delegation also visited Supizae Island to inspect a proposed site for a police post there.
AC Manelugu and his delegation visited the Shortland Islands including Kariki, Harapa and Kulitanai starting on 28 June 2020.