Nauru Police Begin Training Volunteers For Reserve Force

admin's picture

Journalist says 30 new recruits being trained for riot actions

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Oct. 2, 2013) – Nauruan police have commenced training volunteer reservists to provide official support in the event of unrest that would again threaten to overrun the efforts of local authorities.

Australia's immigration minister, Scott Morrison, who ordered a rapid expansion on Nauru of 2,000 more places after the Coalition's election win, has signaled his support.

"I witnessed similar training exercises being conducted on Manus Island last week for new local recruits," he said.

"Security at these sites is one of our top priorities, especially given the stronger policy position and resolve adopted by the new government."

Riots at Nauru's asylum seeker processing centre in July saw much of the centre's newly-built accommodation burned down, with damage costs running to AU$60 million.

A number of locals were deputised on the night of the riot to help police bring hundreds of asylum seekers under control at the Australian-run centre.

Text messages and a call through local media for "strong and able" men to report to the centre to assist authorities were broadcast as workers were taken hostage and police pelted with rocks.

A journalist and photographer based on Nauru, Clint Deidenang, has been watching the training and told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program that thirty new police recruits are currently being trained to be reservists to be called up as required.

"They're doing some strategy training, using shields and riot gear, helmets, riot police calling out orders," he said.

"They're learning tactics dealing with stones, shouting, under the hot sun."

Mr. Deidenang says the volunteers are aware they are there to provide support to the police and "preserve peace on the island."

There are already more than 700 asylum seekers in two camps on Nauru.

The Nauru Magistrates Court has begun mention hearings this week for the more than 120 people charged over the July riot.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment