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Western border challenge highlighted

Western Province Premier Hon Wayne Maepioh and the Australian High Commissioner HE Mr Roderick Brazer during their visit to the Gizo Market this week

WESTERN Province’s immediate challenge is the border issue in relation to its monitoring and management.

At the moment the border on the Western end of Solomon Islands is left open with no proper management, monitoring and regulations.

The fact that it remains open attracts so many illegal activities like drug smuggling, arms movement, human trafficking and others.

Western Province Premier Hon Wayne Maepioh during his meeting with the Australian High Commissioner HE Mr Roderick Brazer and delegation briefed them on evidences of these illegal tradings which he said keeps increasing on a daily basis.

“We already felt the impact and the spill over effect of it,” said Hon Wayne Maepioh.

To His Excellency, the Premier clarified for him that his government’s concern is for them to try and manage the border issue in order to have some control over it.

“At the moment there is no Staff Post, no base neither nothing except for a Police Post in the Shortland area,” said Hon Maepioh.

“We do not want to be blamed for the illegal entries through our border. We want to build a base on that part of the Western Solomon’s and also use that part as an economic hub so that we use trade as the main centre for border control and management,” he said.

The Australian High Commissioner on hearing the Premiers concern approved it and told him that they will look into areas to assist concerning the issue though they also respect the border relationship between Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the Western Solomon’s as well.

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