The FAMOA Council of Chiefs and Customary Land Owning groups have permitted their Islands this week to support the current COVID-19 operations at the Solomon Islands-Papua New Guinea (PNG) border.
The permission was granted at a meeting this week between chiefs, landowning groups and the Deputy Commissioner Operations Juanita Matanga on Wednesday 25 August to discuss access to the islands for police operations at the western border.
Deputy Commissioner Matanga told the chiefs about the government interest on the islands for police operations as the country continues to put increase measures to prevent the entry of COVID-19 through the western border from Bougainville.
She said the Islands are strategically located for police and other border agency operations during this time of Covid-19.
Chiefs and Landowning groups have permitted the islands of Soana Talu and Kopuria to be accessed by RSIPF officers manning the western border when there is a need.
Member of Parliament for the Shortland Islands, Hon. Chris Laore, the FAMOA Joint Working Committee and the landowners of the Shortland Islands residing in Honiara facilitated the successful meetings this week.
Shortland Islands is less than 20 minutes by boat from the closest point to Bougainville.