Manele defends govt’s invite to regional forces

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jeremiah Manele
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MINISTER of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Jeremiah Manele has defended the government’s stand to invite regional forces from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji to restore law and order in the country.

This was after Member of Parliament for East Honiara, Peter Kenilorea Junior questioned the implication of the foreign forces on the country’s sovereignty.

Speaking at the Sine Die motion in Parliament yesterday, Mr Manele said as a responsible government, they believed and felt this was necessary in order to protect further lives being lost and properties being damaged.

“We have to act and request for support.

“These forces are not coming in their own will. They came in based on the request of the Solomon Islands Government,” he said.

“Had we followed Chapter 7 of the United Nations charter, in terms of its processes, we will not be able to save this country.

“It will take time to go through Chapter 7 provisions of the UN Charter,” he said.

Manele said sovereignty off course is key for any state, but at the end of the day, what is important if you are not able to protect the lives of your people.

“The democratic institutions we have in the country and business houses, these are the consideration as a responsible government we took in asking our friends to come and assist.

Australia has sent in more than 100 Defence Force personells, New Zealand 65, Fiji 50 and 37 police from Papua New Guinea.