Monday, 16 January 2012 8:38 AM
Re-arming is a "Positive Sign," says Sogavare
A former prime minister in Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare says the prime minister's announcement that the police will eventually be re-armed is a good sign.
Gordon Darcy Lilo has told local media that while there is no question re-armament will take place, it must be cautiously considered.
Mr Sogavare, who was a strong advocate for rearming police while he was the leader of the country in 2007, says although police are currently not ready to regain arms, the prime minister's statement is a positive step.
"And I think it's a signal. And it should be a signal to the international community that the force has now become a professional force and it can be trusted and trusted with arms."
Manasseh Sogavare says the prime minister's comment is in line with general thinking in the country.
However, NGO groups have called for a thorough consultation before such an issue should even be considered.
"We have seen how a good number of Solomon Islanders opposed re-armament during Sogavare's time, I do not see how such feelings would change now," said a senior advisor of the DSE, the umbrella NGO body.
He says that there is a real sense of deep apprehension when one talks about re-armament.
"Many do not see the need for re-armament, the scars have not yet healed, and the hurt and pain is still there."