61 deployed to restore law & order NOT to arrest riot instigators in Auki

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A police deployment of 61 officers to Auki was in response to an incident on January 6th in the Malaita Provincial capital when three people were held at the wharf by a group of people. And Police say they are not in Auki to arrest the instigators of the November riots and lootings.

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The arrival of the patrol boat in Auki had caused concern and fear amongst Malaitans but today police defused those doubts.

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Supervising Deputy Commissioner Operations Joseph Manelugu told journalists this morning that police sent the sent patrol boat to support Auki police maintain law and order following the January 6 incident.

He stated that during the incident a group of people went to the wharf and held three passengers from Pelican (ship).

“We see it as unlawful and we don’t want to allow such activities in public place,” he said.

On why they deployed the boat, Manelugu said they sent the patrol-boat as there were no other boats to transport the officers to Malaita.

The officers are currently doing awareness in and around the town and once law and order is fully stored they’ll leave Auki.

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Arrest of Instigators

Manelugu said the police are not in Auki to arrest the alleged instigators of the November riots and lootings.

It was alleged that certain prominent Malaitans were on police list for arrest regarding the November riots and lootings.

In refuting that, he reiterated that the main purpose of the trip was to put back trust in the community following the incident.

“We want to put people at ease,” he told journalists.

SBMOnline understands that the incident on January 6th was related to the Motion of No Confidence against Premier Daniel Suidani in October last year. The motion was later withdrawn by the mover.

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