US offer of police training welcomed

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Royal Solomon Islands Police Force and Correctional Service officers assemble during the joint demonstration with China Police at Rove field recently.
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By EDDIE OSIFELO

Solomon Islanders have welcomed the announcement that United States of America (USA) will send the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to train local police officers this year.

The FBI is a top security and intelligence service in the US that also deals with counter-terrorism, counterintelligence and investigate federal crimes.

The announcement was part of the 11-point declaration signed by the United States and Pacific Island nations during their two days summit in Washington last Thursday.

According to Reuters, US agreed to provide US$2.8 million to step up FBI training with Pacific islands, including in 2022 with the Solomon Islands.

It also states United States would invest more than $810 million in expanded programs to aid the islands, on top of over $1.5 billion provided in the past decade.

It includes a previously announced 10-year $600 million aid request to Congress to build climate resilience and maritime security for the island states.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, who initially opted against signing the declaration prior to the Washington summit, confirms in a leaked memo from Solomon Islands Embassy in New York.

However, it turned out Sogavare joined the rest of the Pacific Island countries to sign the declaration and stood shoulder to shoulder with President Biden after the signing.

Social media commentators say the FBI is a well-trained force to boost the capability of RSIPF.

However, other posters claimed it is good to have the FBI but the underlying problems of Solomon Islands is corruption and land issues.

Island Sun is still to get any feedbacks from the RSIPF Commissioner Mostyn Mangau since the announcement.

Currently, the RSIPF officers are trained by the Australia Federal Police and Chinese police, who were dispatched to the country after the signing of the security agreement between PRC and Solomon Islands Government this year.

The Chinese police officers also trained the employees of the Chinese businesses and youths at Tulagi, Central Islands province.

Furthermore, the US will open its new Embassy in Honiara and return the peace corps to engage in the communities.

Despite the announcement was made in Washington, it has already generated a rippling effect on the people of Solomon Islands on seeing the 11-point declaration coming to fruition.


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