Police, immigration ready for border reopening

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Honiara International Airport
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By EDDIE OSIFELO

THE Immigration Division and police officers are preparing to execute the operation plan ‘Keepim Yu Safe’ when our borders are reopened starting next week.

The operational plan was developed by Damien Pollard of the Australia Border Force to assist Immigration Division work at the airport, passport processing, visa management, border control, border compliance, maritime, and Solomon Islands-Papua New Guinea border.

As part of familiarisation with the Op Plan, the Immigration Division with Pollard have conducted a two-day workshop in Honiara starting yesterday.

The training aims to:

  1. Equip Immigration and Police officers with knowledge to execute the operation plan’s border reopening framework for international airports, maritime and SI-PNG traditional border crossing; and
  2. Understand the execution of a joint multi-law enforcement border operation plans to facilitate international border reopening.

Acting Director of Immigration, Chris Akosawa said this training needs to be completed this week because some Immigration officers will be posted to Shortlands next week.

Akosawa said the training is important for Immigration officers and police officers serving at the SI-PNG border to understand Immigration, customs, biosecurity, health, border treaties and MOUs to execute immigration operations.

“Besides operations in Honiara, we have existing MOUs with PNG.

“We have two border treaties Basic Border Agreement 2004 and Framework Treaty guiding principles 1997,” he said.

Furthermore, Akosawa said Solomon Islands has existing SI-PNG Royal Papua New Guinea police force MOU.

He said Immigration also has MOU with Biosecurity and Customs.

Further to that, he said it is important for Immigration and Police to understand the concept of multi-law enforcement agency because they are going to operate different legislations like customs, health, bio security and immigrations laws.

“These agencies have authority under their own directors and controllers.

“So, it is very important especially our police force to really understand how you going to support us during border operations,” he said.

Akosawa said Royal Solomon Islands Police Force is the principle law agency to enforce and support Immigration’s operations and keeping officers safe operating in a high-risk environment.

Cabinet has approved the reopening of borders following recommendations from the Border Opening Committee of the covid-19 Oversight Committee.


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