HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, July 24) – Australian warship HMAS Manoora has arrived in Honiara, carrying 300 soldiers, police and support staff from Australia to begin intervention in Solomon Islands.

The force was seen offloading on the shoreline near the Airport Motel. The area is believed to be a staging area for the operation, planned and led by the Australian government.

Earlier today, about 100 soldiers and police arrived by Australian Airforce C-130 Hercules aircraft. More soldiers and police are expected in Honiara throughout today.

Up to 13 flights are expected to arrive at Henderson Airport today, from Australia and New Zealand.

A number of officers stayed near the airport, while others were transported to Red Beach.

A formal welcome ceremony for the intervention force was to be held this afternoon at the airport.

Prime Minister Allan Kemakeza, whose current location was not disclosed, is expected to return to Honiara to attend the ceremony, along with the coordinator of the intervention force, Nick Warner from Australia. Kemakeza earlier had been whisked away from the Solomons, reportedly for security reasons.

The reception was to be broadcast live by the national broadcaster, SIBC.

July 24, 2003

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp.: 


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