Police nab 18 people for being violent and causing disturbance
GIZO Police in the Solomon Islands say the tense situation at the provincial capital caused by retaliatory confrontation by two ethnic groups has now been brought under control.
Provincial Police Commander Western Province Fred Satu said Gizo Township is now peaceful and calm after the havoc had caused public panic.
Mr Satu said the violent incident was sparked by confrontation between two ethnic groups last Saturday.
He said, this was an act of retaliation for an earlier incident in which a brawl incident resulted in the injury of one man who was later sent to the National Referral Hospital for treatment.
Mr Satu said relatives of the injured man attempted to retaliate in revenge against the other group whose family member was believed to have inflicted the injury.
He said three boat loads of relatives of the injured man arrived in Gizo last Saturday and started assaulting the family whose member was believed to have involved in violent brawl incident.
Police said the group went into a rampage damaging property and removed a number of items owned by Gizo Waterfront night club.
Gizo police said 18 people had been arrested following the rampage.
Twelve (12) of those arrested are males while six are females.
Gizo police said relatives of the injured man were demanding a $50,000.00 compensation payment for the incident.
Western provincial authorities have vowed to deal with the issue and resolve the problem amicably between the two ethnic groups concerned.
In the meantime Assistant Commissioner of Police, Crime and Prevention, Gabriel Manelusi has appealed to the members of the two ethnic groups to show retrain and allow the law to take its course.
He said the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) have dispatched additional police officers both the local Rapid Response Team and RAMSI military to Gizo to help maintain law and order and are ready to send more resources if the need arises.
Mr Satu said, Gizo police are investigating the matter.
He cautioned members of the public in and around Gizo that the law will severely deal with anyone taking the law into his/her own hands.
Mr Manelusi said the immediate family of the injured victim appealed for calm and prefers people pray for their son and not retaliate in violence.
He said immediate family members of the injured man prefer peace than violence and do not want to see unnecessary provocation and scaring of innocent people.
“Additionally the RSIPF have sought a ban on the sale of alcohol in Western Province and are negotiating with community leaders,” the Assistant Commissioner NCCP added.
Solomon Star understand that a similar confrontation between the two ethnic groups also occurred in Gizo more than two years ago.
Source: Solomon Star