The deployment follows Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogovare’s urgent plea to closest neighbour PNG to assist contain the civil unrest.
Commissioner Manning said the request was specific to a support to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force to contain the current civil unrest in the city.
Of the 37 contingent, 14 of the personnel were Correctional Service officers, who were trained in Public Order Management during APEC 2018, while the rest are members of the RPNGC.
The deployment is a direct police support from the RPNGC to the RSIPF and Commissioner Manning was able to accompany the contingent to Honiara. Commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), Mostyn Mangau briefed the PNG contingent upon arrival.
“According to the brief by Commissioner Mangau, the unrest has caused him great concern to deal with such situation and our support was not only timely but critical to their ability to contain the situation in Honiara,” Commissioner Manning said.
He said: “The deployment today marks the beginning of a 3 to 4-week deployment for this contingent, there is a commitment to support further depending on the situation in Honiara and even Solomon Islands as a country. That commitment has been made known to the commissioner and PM Sogovare.”
Commissioner Manning said this was very much a police assistance that the contingent was deployed under the Police Presence Support Act as the same enabling legislation allowed them to deploy doing Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.
He added that it is incumbent on the PNG Government and the decision made by the Prime Minister, James Marape and his cabinet to ensure we contribute to regional security.
Commissioner Manning said they would do their best to ensure that they conduct themselves in a manner, which will bring swift resolution to the situation.
Meantime, Australian troops are also in the Solomon Islands to help restore order.