Solomon Islands Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) met with their Papuan New Guinea counterparts in Buin town on Bougainville on 7 December 2019 to discuss how best both countries could implement the Traditional Border Crossing (TBC) frame work to facilitate movement between parts of Choiseul Province and Shortland Islands in the Western Province.
The meeting at Buin was held after an earlier meeting between the LEAs was held at the Kulitanai police station in the Shortland Islands in Western Province on 3 December 2019.
The meeting was held to operationalize and strengthen the implementation of the SI-PNG bilateral border treaties in ensuring that the LEAs on both sides of the common border are informed and updated on developments on both sides of the border.
Police Forward Command Post (PFCP) Commander Inspector Kerry Sireheti says, “The purpose of the meeting was to update each other on the latest SI-PNG border developments. The meeting was successfully concluded with an understanding on how to protect each other’s common side of the common border to facilitate the TBC framework.”
“As RSIPF is one of the LEAs we are to ensure that safety and peace is maintained along the common border between SI-PNG. The RSIPF presence at the common order has made the Bougainville Referendum peaceful and the role of the RSIPF has been appreciated.”
“Customs and Immigration on both sides of the border have explained the TBC framework and mechanisms that have been put in place to manage and administer the special areas of administration under the Joint Border Treaty (BTA) agreements.”
“The presence of Joint Law Enforcement on both sides of the common border is to ensure that security and safety of communities are well provided. The Solomon Islands Government has established it’s ports of entries at Taro in Choiseul Province as well as Kariki, Mono, Kulitanai and Harapa in the Western Province.”
Commander Sireheti explains: “On Bougainville, the ports of entries under the TBC are Kangu in South Bougainville and Sirowai and Arawa in Central Bougainville. Those from the Shortland Islands and parts of Choiseul who travel to Bougainville must take note of these designated ports of entries.”