The Prime Minister (PM) of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, during the handing over ceremony of 22 vehicles and 30 motorcycles from China on 4th November 2022 has appealed to the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) to take good care of Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) donated vehicles.
PM Sogavare conveyed to the RSIPF executives the need to respect and care for all these gifts.
“It is in our best interest to look after these gifts, and I do hope that proper planning and discussion on the maintenance and upkeep of these resources is underway. These are not easily accessible equipment, and it is important that due respect and value be given to looking after them,” Sogavare said.
“I want to encourage our loyal RSIPF officers of our national motto, “To Lead is To Serve”. We must serve our people without fear or favour. The security of our country and people depends on you. This awesome responsibility must never be taken lightly. You have sworn to serve and protect, and I trust that with these enhanced capabilities you will be motivated to discharge your duties more effectively,” the PM said.
Meanwhile, Sogavare said to those who view the enhancement of the Police Force in a negative lens: “I wish to appeal to you, to note that it is the responsibility of the RSIPF to serve and protect the lives, welfare, liberty and property of all individuals in this country. To be unable to deliver on this mandate is a poor indication of a country’s own security capacity, as a Sovereign and Independent Country. We must have that capacity and not depend on others.”.
RSIPF Commissioner Mr. Mostyn Mangau says, “While I acknowledge the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for donating these vehicles, I must assure the people of this nation Solomon Islands that RSIPF will look after all these assets and use it for its intended purposes.”
“I would like to clarify some confusion here that the current fleet that was donated by China and Australia just only replaces the current fleet that has been grounded and ready for tender. So there should not be any issue with the budget constraint when it comes to the fuel for the RSIPF to manage those new vehicles,” he said
Mangau said the new vehicles donated by China and Australia to RSIPF will not have any issues with parts and fuel. RSIPF will meet the fuel for those replaced vehicles and fuel for those new vehicles will not affect the police budget for its operations.
He says as few commentators shared their views about the logo on those new handed vehicles.
“We will print the police logo before the vehicles will be used for police duties.”
The Police Chief also appeals to RSIPF officers to take care of those very expensive assets.
“We need to look after it well. Use it for its purpose to provide services to our people. Have a strong mind set with strong discipline to take care of these new vehicles,” he said.
Meanwhile, China Ambassador to Solomon Islands (SI), His Excellency Li Ming during the handing over ceremony says, “The policing cooperation between China and SI is in the interests of the two countries and benefits the region as a whole. Safety, security and sovereignty of SI and its people are top priorities of China-SI policing cooperation.”
Ambassador Ming says, “The handing over will further enhance the capacity and capability building of the RSIPPF and further contribute to the law and order management of SI.”
Ming says, “China does not have any intention to compete with any other countries, nor interfere in any other countries’ domestic affairs, and we are firmly opposed to any geopolitical games.