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Friday, September 07, 2007

RAMSI head says investigation underway into complaints by North Malaita Chiefs of uncollected weapons in community

By Qila Tuhanuku

RAMSI’s Special Coordinator, Tim George, says RAMSI has already investigated a complaint by chiefs in North Malaita and passed that information to the Government.

Mr George said RAMSI began an investigation immediately upon receiving the complaint in late July and has been working very closely with the Government Special Envoy to RAMSI, Michael Maina since then.

“This was done to ensure a transparent investigation that uncovered the facts of the matter was carried out”, Mr George said.

“The first step in this process was for me to provide a detailed letter to Mr Maina setting out what happened while a RAMSI military and police patrol were assisting the Solomon Islands Police Force to investigate a report of an armed person in their community. “

Mr George said that RAMSI is very aware of the need for soldiers and police to demonstrate appropriate respect to the people and customs of the Solomon Islands.

At the same time RAMSI personnel are obliged to conduct themselves in the way that best protects everyone’s safety he said.

“In this case the community concerned themselves, raised the alarm that there may be firearms at large,” Mr George said.

“To investigate these reports in good faith was to act in the best interests of the community,” he said.

Mr George said that RAMSI welcomed the Special Envoy’s involvement in resolving this matter and was very pleased that Mr Maina was visiting the community and leaders directly involved and RAMSI happy to be able to facilitate that visit with assistance in transportation.

Source: RAMSI

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