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Police Force To Be Freed From Ethnic Biaseness

By George Siapu

Police Force To Be Freed From Ethnic Biaseness

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has called on the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIP) to free itself from what he termed as "the disease of ethnic biasness" in the recruitment of new police cadets.

The Prime Minister, who was the chief guest at the graduation of 29 police recruits on Friday last week, stressed that the strategy of 'ethnic rationing' in the recruitment process has a tendency to fuel a recruitment race based purely on narrow ethnic interests that we forget who we really are in the world.

He revealed this concern in light of the fact that Solomon Islands is a country with irreconcilable ethnic diversity, therefore, the strategy of 'ethnic rationing' would tend to encourage narrow ethnic interests.

"I am expressing this concern because the reason why this country is prone to disunity is because there is lack of nationalism amongst our people," Sogavare said.

Mr Sogavare pointed out that we are easily swayed by inclinations towards ethnic agendas and our affiliations to groupings that advanced very narrow interests.

He, however, stressed that if we are to do justice to our efforts to unite this country, we need to come out of these inclinations.

"We need to think and advance the interest of Solomon Islands, not that of our ethnic groupings," Sogavare added.

Mr Sogavare pointed out that the concern for the country to strategically address the issue of unity is very crucial considering the desire of Solomon Islanders to adopt a federal system of government, which he added, was originally driven by secession agenda.

But as he explained: "This concern can be effectively addressed through the adoption and operation of effective institutional arrangements that must act as guarantee for unity".

Prime Minister Sogavare said that one such institution is a strong and effective national law enforcement agency which the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force is an important part of.

He further emphasized that an important factor would be to instill the spirit of unity and nationalism in the Police force, therefore, our recruitment into the force should be driven by our desire to serve the people of Solomon Islands, nothing more, nothing less and any other agendas other than this would be unacceptable.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sogavare cautioned the Police Graduates that the police force is just as good as the people who run it and that includes them particularly in the way they conduct themselves in the discharge of their duties as law enforcers.

"First and foremost is discipline which is at the heart of everything you do, say and think and discipline describes the very nature of your work," he explained.

Mr Sogavare congratulated the police graduates for successfully completing the 16 weeks of training and cautioned them to uphold the highest standard of discipline that the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force was known to be before it was compromised during the ethnic tension.


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