HomeNewsSolomon Islands’ opposition calls for solutions after ‘reproduction’ weapons report Get hold...

Solomon Islands’ opposition calls for solutions after ‘reproduction’ weapons report Get hold of US

Opposition chief Matthew Wale accuses police commissioner of deceptive residents after Al Jazeera report.

Taipei, Taiwan – Solomon Islands’ opposition chief Matthew Wale has referred to as on the nation’s police commissioner to “come clear” about whether or not China secretly shipped real firearms to Honiara final yr after Al Jazeera uncovered new particulars concerning the cargo.

Final week, Al Jazeera revealed that on the time of the cargo in March 2022, United States diplomats believed the firearms have been in actual fact actual pistols and rifles and never “replicas” supposed for coaching functions as claimed by the federal government.

“The weapons within the photograph have been packed in picket crates, appeared actual, and had distinctive serial numbers,” the US embassy in Papua New Guinea mentioned in a diplomatic cable obtained by Al Jazeera through a freedom of knowledge request.

US officers additionally believed that reproduction firearms later displayed by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Drive (RSIPF) to quell the controversy weren’t the identical because the weapons within the cargo, and questioned why the weapons had been offloaded in the midst of the evening with out correct documentation.

On Tuesday, Wale accused RSIPF Commissioner Mostyn Mangau and Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare of intentionally deceptive Solomon Islanders and appearing extra like a prison organisation than a sovereign authorities.

“When the very establishments entrusted to guard us are implicated in such misleading acts, it turns into clear that this Authorities can’t be trusted, particularly on issues as important as nationwide safety,” Wale mentioned in an announcement.

Solomon Islands’s political opposition has beforehand objected to weapons shipments from different nations together with Australia, which final yr donated MK18 rifles and police autos to the Pacific Island nation.

Sogavare and the RSIPF haven’t publicly responded to the revelations contained within the diplomatic cables.

However Collin Beck, the pinnacle of Solomon Islands’ international ministry, mentioned on Saturday that the Al Jazeera report “holds no reality” and was a part of a “divisive narrative” concerning the nation.

“Allegation of [Solomon Islands] receiving arms from [China] is just not true and never useful towards right this moment’s quick altering worldwide system. [The Solomon Islands] will stay vigilant and resilient,” Beck wrote on X, the social media platform previously often known as Twitter.

Throughout his time in workplace, Sogavare has taken a collection of steps to deepen relations with China, together with signing an settlement on safety cooperation and ceasing recognition of self-ruled Taiwan.

The nation’s pivot in the direction of Beijing has alarmed officers within the US, Australia and New Zealand, who concern Chinese language encroachment within the Pacific.

Solomon Islands, which is dwelling to simply over 700,000 folks, and different tiny Pacific Island nations have been caught in a heated rivalry amongst main powers because of their strategic location.

The RSIPF didn’t instantly reply to Al Jazeera’s request for remark.

The Prime Minister’s Workplace didn’t reply to earlier questions from Al Jazeera concerning the allegations made by US officers.

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