Your Friday 20th January article that RAMSI will be withdrawing from a further five areas of the Solomon Islands this year in order to focus more on building the capacity of the RSIPF raises certain questions.
Will the scaling back of RAMSI's policing in the provincial areas see the withdrawal of their resources such as transport and communications and will the RSIPF then have the capacity and their own logistical resources to maintain essential police services to the rural communities? I have raised similar questions comparatively recently for there is public concern on such issues, but never seen answers either from RAMSI or the government.
The RSIPF had effective riot training and in dealing with public disturbances prior to RAMSI's arrival and the force was equipped with riot shields, batons, tear gas and the necessary weapons to fire the tear gas. If the riot equipment was withdrawn from them will the new focus announced by Mr. Coppel see the RSIPF re-supplied and equipped, when he has said RAMSI plans to put more resources into training?
The failure to prevent the Chinatown rioting and looting in 2006 was very largely due to intelligence and pre-planning failures and what will RAMSI now be doing to ensure intelligence collection and collation is enhanced?
RAMSI'S Withdrawal from the Provinces
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Frank Short and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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