BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
BORDER entry from the Western end of Solomon Islands is reported to have increased compared to past years raising serious threat for locals.
Indigenous Elders of Shortland Islands in Western Province who feel that their lives are no longer safe from such daily practises question the National Government on how long before their suffering will be noticed and implement the ongoing issue called for to address well.
“Cross border continues, raiding continues as stealing at business houses continues. If Bougainvilleans hear that there is a logging camp at site on Shortland Islands, they will come and just raid freely taking chainsaws and other things away being only less than four nautical miles from Bougainville to Shortland,” raise Elders of Shortlands.
“Why we never regulate the people of Bougainville is our general concern.
“There is no mechanism in place for any protocol or so to regulate and adhere to the movement of Bougainvilleans being observed at the western border of this country.
“Is there no Immigration and Border Control Department in the country? Such as others that can be seen in other countries, where does this department lie under Solomon Islands?
“When contacting for security purposes concerning at the border, there will only be usual responds and explanations pointing to divisions said to be responsible but in fact, from our observation, there is no real picture over which Ministry or so does this department lie under, which department?
“Not a time most years do intruders from Bougainville get arrest arrested, this is maybe because Solomon Islands is not even a restored country too. It is just a country in the process of restoration of peace, meaning it is even yet at the process of the disposal of arms.
“There is the Ministry of Police and Correctional Service, but is there any Unit that looks after the border security? When talking about border security we are talking about a naval base and a mechanism in place pointing to our concern that the National Government should be looking into.”
Referring to an alleged armed robbery at a logging camp in one of the Islands in Shortlands over the weekend that Police in Western Province are currently investigating into, Elders of Shortland Islands also expressed that the economic development of the country such as focusing on logging can be disturbed rather than for the people of this nation to earn good income from.
“This issue is not only for us Shortland Islands, this is for Western Province and the whole nation,” reminds Shortlands’ Elders.
“Finding out about serious health issues such as HIV reported cases in 2012 and so at Bougainville also raises concern for us having not regulating them entering the country. We do not know what might occur and become a more major threat to our society.
“So this is our call, with our Members of Parliament (MP) continuing to appeal to Ministries responsible to address this issue every now and then, us indigenous Shortlanders now also call for the National Government to implement the western border issue.
“The National Government’s term is now lapsing but when will they address this serious issue?”