The Deputy Commissioner Operations in the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) Juanita Matanga held a musters with the front line officers at the Kulitanai Police Post in the Shortland Islands in Western Province on 25 August 2020 to thank them for their work despite the challenges faced during the COVID-19 operation.
Deputy Commissioner Matanga told the officers, “I greatly appreciate the hard work that you as the frontline officers have put in during this very important operation here at the western border with Papua New Guinea to prevent the COVID-19 from entering our shores despite the challenges you may encounter since your deployment.”
“Despite the challenges faced during your deployment, I urge you not to give up. The safety of this whole country and its people is in your hands. Your task is to ensure that this virus does not enter into our country through the western border. Continue to maintain the great work you have done since the operation started several months ago. I know there are challenges but allow the RSIPF Executive to address the challenges with the Government. Do not desert your posts,” says Deputy Commissioner Matanga.
“You have done so much for this country already and I want to assure you that one of the challenges faced by past deployed officers concerning the free access to the islands here at the western border is now being addressed during my trip here. Already the chiefs, elders and landowners of Mono have assured me that they will give free access for our operations during this State of Public Emergency,” Deputy Commissioner Matanga told the officers at the Kulitanai Police Post.”
She added, “Chiefs, elders and landowners of Mono have given their permission for officers to access Soana Talu and Kopuria islands when carrying out your duties and I look forward for the same positive feedback from other chiefs and elders of other communities here in the Shortlands that I plan to visit during this week.”.
“As we understand, the threat level for the western border of the country is very high and the Government has now included the Shortland Islands, Choiseul and the Malaita Outer Islands in the current State of Public Emergency. We as officers of the RSIPF have to work together with communities in the western border to ensure the COVID-19 does not enter our country from Bougainville,” says Deputy Commissioner Matanga.