THOUSANDS WITNESS SHOW OF FORCE IN SOLOMONS

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SYDNEY, Australia (ABC News Online, Aug. 2) - More than 5,000
Solomon Islanders packed central Honiara today to watch a display put on by
troops from the four member nations of the Solomon Islands Intervention Force.

The show of military equipment and capabilities was put on to
reinforce the message that action will be taken if weapons are not handed in.

The thousands who turned up to the 'town ground' in Honiara
watched Australian Navy helicopters perform maneuvers, while platoons of heavily
armed soldiers from Fiji, Tonga and Australia, faces daubed with camouflage
paint, were presented to the crowd.

One soldier with a sniffer dog released the dog to find a buried
rifle.

Special coordinator Nick Warner was asked if it was part of the
force's psychological operations.

"I think we just wanted to show what our capability was,
that this is a significant military and police presence in their country,"
he said.

"They have a right to know what it can do, and to see it
and to meet and look at it and begin to understand it."

August 4, 2003

ABC News Online: www.abc.net.au

 

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