Police and members of the Solomon Islands Post Conflict Rehabilitation and Restoration Association (SIPRRA) of Guadalcanal Desk are preparing to visit eight constituencies of the province, to collect fire arms believed to be hidden, since RAMSI arrived in the country.
This is part of the amnesty program declared by the Prime Minister (PM) Manasseh Sogavare on Monday.
Provincial Police Commander (PPC) for Guadalcanal Province Nixon Manetogha said police and SIPPRA, which consist of the ex-combatants of the Isatambu Freedom Movement (IFM) will visit the eight constituencies of the island to make awareness and collect any fire arm that were not surrendered during the intervention of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
PPC told this paper that the program will start as soon as things are ready for them to be deployed to different zones of the province to make awareness and collect fire arms.
He said SIPPRA members will hold awareness while police will collect guns.
Adding, they have engaged SIPPRA into this program because they are the peace advocators for this country and they were former militants that have knowledge of people suspected of hiding fire arms.
PPC said they appealed to the people of Guadalcanal, who possess fire arms to come forward, during the visit by the amnesty team and surrender their guns.
Stressing, this is an Amnesty period declared by the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare for people to surrender guns, before the 9th of June next month.
He also said the amnesty will provide an opportunity for anyone within the community to hand in their illegal weapons without prosecution.
“A certificate will be issued for any firearm or ammunition delivered to the RSIPF, reiterating that after the end of the firearms amnesty, any person found in illegal possession of a firearm, whether stolen or not may be subject to the full force of the law,” he clarified.
He concluded that, during this firearms amnesty, all outstanding firearms and ammunition must be delivered to a RSIPF Police Station or Police Post across all provinces in the Solomon Islands. No money or reward will be given.
This is the second time the Government of Solomon Islands has approved a Firearms Amnesty, the first was on the arrival of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands in 2003.
By AATAI JOHN