THE police drone which was seized by the Bougainville fishermen will be returned to the Solomon Islands as soon as their leaders and police retrieved it from the fishermen in Bougainville.
This was confirmed by a reliable source in Bougainville over the weekend when the Solomon Star contacted the sources in Bougainville.
However, the sources spoken said they are sorry for the incident that occurred but condemned the report published in the media last week.
“While we Bougainvilleans respect this common border between us and the Western Solomon Islands there must be some level of respect and understanding from the authorities manning the border,” the source said.
The incident that occurred at the border last week the source said it was because of a misunderstanding and respect were not shown by the police officers at that time.
“These a simple fishermen doing fishing at the common border and these were their fishing ground which is known to both us and their bloodlines from Western Solomons.
“Why do these officers have to point these fishermen with guns and trying to chase them as if they were criminals?
“Where are your knowledge and understanding on the common border and the fact is these simple fishermen only go to these spots for fishing and then return without interfering with anyone from the other side,” the source said.
The source said that these fishermen did not threaten these officers; in fact, those police officers use their weapons (guns) to scare off these fishermen which provoked the Bougainville fishermen to react.
When asked if these fishermen have any idea about the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) on our side of the border the source said, maybe some fishermen were not aware of it, but the fact that they claimed that they are fishing in their common ground without interfering with anyone from the Solomon side must be respected as well.
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo also said that while the country is under SoPE our officers must use common sense when patrolling the common border at Western Solomons.
“These are matters our Police Commissioner should brief our officers manning the common border, common sense must prevail rather than using COVID-19 and SoPE.
“This western border is and will continue to be like that since both sides of the border are blood-related with traditional ties therefore we must be sincere when handling this sort of issue,” Lilo told this paper last week.
Lilo further stated that we must also understand that there was an agreement between the Government of Solomon Islands and the Government of Papua New Guinea on Border Arrangements.
This paper understands that Bougainville Police Chief, Francis Tokura told Solomon Times Online he was sorry about the incident that occurred at the border between the Solomon Islands and PNG.
Bougainville Police Chief, Francis Tokura told Solomon Times Online they know the Solomon Islands is in a State of Public Emergency but his officers in Buin do not have the resources to patrol the border between these two countries.
Tokura said, he has often made appeals to the people of Bougainville to respect the laws of Solomon Islands and not to cross the border during the State of Emergency.
By ANDREW FANASIA