UK CONSTABLE ARRIVES IN SOLOMONS TO HEAD POLICE

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Radio Australia, Jan. 29) - The new Solomon Islands police commissioner has pledged to uphold the human rights of all the country’s citizens.

Radio Australia says William Morrell, a British policeman who was the deputy chief constable in Manchester up until last month, has arrived in the capital to a lively welcome:

Warriors carrying spears and axes charged onto the tarmac at Honiara's Henderson airfield to lay down a traditional challenge to the new Solomon Islands Police Commissioner.

They then picked up Morrell and carried him to meet government ministers.

The Solomon Islands police force has been deeply factionalized by the ethnic conflict and some of its members helped stage the June 2000 coup.

Commissioner Morrell said it was a great honor to take over the leadership role of the Royal Solomon Islands Police.

"I will do the very best I can to help bring stability to the Solomon Islands, to defend human rights of everybody, to encourage equality of opportunity and to build a professional police service where the officers can have pride and the people confidence," said Morrell.

Commissioner Morrell will be sworn in within the coming days.

January 29, 2003

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au

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