BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
DEPUTY Commissioner (DC) Solomon International Assistance Force (SIAF) Commander Paul Osborne revealed during the Commissioner’s weekly conference this week that SIAF will remain in Solomon Islands as long they are required to.
Responding to questions asked on how long the mission will stay in the country, Mr Osborne said SIAF will continue to remain here and support the RSIPF as long as they are required.
“I can only assure you that SIAF will continue to remain here and support the RSIPF as long as we are required, as long we are needed and as long as the decisions are made for us to stay here,” Osborne said.
Osborne said SIAF is a police mission comprise of police and military components and they have successful in supporting RSIPF during the recent unrest in November 2021 to restore law and order and maintain peace and security in and around Honiara.
He said countries inside SIAF are Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea and all of the countries and those part of the components of the SIAF who are here have a long history of working with the Solomon Islands and the RSIPF.
“So, we have a great deal of understanding of each other’s abilities, I think that is the whole mass of this success of the operation,” Osborne said.
He also said that one thing the public need to know is that SIAF is not taking sides in relation to the issues regarding the civil unrest, our only function here is to support the RSIPF to do responsible operation for the security of the capital in and around Honiara.
“We will always support our security family partners, because we think it’s the right thing to do, when such circumstances arise,” Osborne said.
Around 300 personnel deployed to the Solomon Islands during the unrest from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and PNG, and that number has been adjusted, Osborne said.
He said he will not reveal the exact number that are currently in country due to reason of security capability.
When asked whether China will be part of SIAF once they come to assist RSIPF, Commander Osborne said No, they are not part of SIAF.