November riots revealed police weakness, says PM

Prime Minister Sogavare speaking at the ceremony today at Rove Police Headquaters
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Last year’s November riots have exposed the weakness and incapability of our police.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare alluded this in his speech yesterday at a joint demonstration by the RSIPF and Chinese police yesterday at Rove field.

As a result, the Government invited the China Police Liaison Team (PLT) to upgrade the skills of RSIPF officers and Correctional officers to prepare for future riots.

Sogavare said it is becoming a worrying trend recently for a small group of people to instigate such unlawful activities just because they do not get what they want.

He said the sad part is that it is our innocent people who are being manipulated and unsuspectingly being used.

“The cost to rebuild our town is another challenge that we will have to face.

“All for what? All for nothing. Actually, the November riots has put us back as a country. We cannot develop and progress if we continue to take the law into our hands,” he said.

Furthermore, Sogavare said there cannot be progress without law and order.

“That is why it is important that we build the capacity of RSIPF and CSSI to ensure law and order so that we can progress and develop as a country.

“Investing in our law and order capabilities is of utmost importance,” he said.

“We must have that capability, otherwise we will continue to depend on other countries to address our internal security threats.

“As a sovereign country, this is not acceptable,” he said.

“We cannot continue to allow our sovereignty and democracy to be held at ransom with violence by a few people.

“As a disciplined force, it is the responsibility of the RSIPF to serve and protect our people and I urge all officers to discharge this responsibility with pride and honour,” he said.

“As long as the capability of RSIPF and CSSI is being questioned, certain elements within our society will continue to use threats, fear, intimidation and inflammatory comments to create anxiety and alarm within our country.

“However, I have confidence and trust that with the training and equipment provided, RSIPF and CSSI will continue to defend the rule of law against the rule of the jungle,” he added.

Sogavare said this is why our capability in the long term is crucial.

The recent November riots have cost the country $800 million and up to 1000 people lost their jobs.