In light of the recent riots in Honiara, New Ireland Governor, Sir Julius Chan has reminded Papua New Guinea’s leadership to set up the South Pacific Peacekeeping Force (SPPKF).
The SPPKF idea was the brainchild of Sir Julius after his government successfully executed the granting of independence for Vanuatu in 1980.
In his recollection of the proposal, Governor Chan said it was put forward to the Pacific Island’s Forum in 1981.
“We proposed for the formation of the South Pacific Peace Keeping force to help prevent any disorder in countries in the Pacific, if invited by heads of the troubled countries to assist,” he said.
However, Sir Julius said, Australia and New Zealand were not keen to support the proposal at the time.
“They said it didn’t sound right to have a South Pacific Peacekeeping force because it means there is disorder, but I think they deliberately interpreted it that way,” said Sir Julius.
He said that over time, Australia, and New Zealand agreed to form RAMSI, which was the exact same philosophy as SPPKF.
“That’s exactly what they are doing now. What would have been legitimate for the SPPKF to enter into the Solomon Islands at the request of their Prime Minister,” Sir Julius said.
Papua New Guinea created the policy and subsequently deployed the first SPPKF force to Arawa in 1994 during the Bougainville crises, and was led by a Tongan, but Commanded locally by former Commander of the PNG Force, late Tony Huai.
SOURCE: LOOP PNG/PACNEWS