Aussie Peace Keeper Shot in Solomon Islands


Book Reviewer
An Australian policeman has been shot dead in the Solomon Islands, the first casualty in Australia's peacekeeping operation in the South Pacific.
Adam Dunning, 26, was shot twice in the back while on patrol in the Solomons capital Honiara.

The incident occurred in an area that was controlled by armed gangs before the arrival of an Australian-led peacekeeping force in summer 2003.

The force, once more than 2,000 strong, has been scaled back to about 300.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said the shooting, by an automatic weapon at about 0300 local time (1600 GMT Tuesday), bore "the hallmarks" of a sniper attack.

Prime Minister John Howard said the incident would not deter the remaining peacekeepers from their task.

The message for the Solomon Islands people who have carried out this murder is we will not be put off

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty

"It is a reminder that although the intervention has been remarkably successful, it is still dangerous," he told reporters. "The mission goes on, undeterred, unrestrained, unaffected by what's happened."

His counterpart in the Solomons, Allan Kemakeza, condemned the killing.

"My government and people condemn this barbaric act by a person who can only be described at best as inhumane and sick in the mind," he said in a statement.

Mr Keelty said the attack was obviously targeted at Australia's Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (Ramsi), because Mr Dunning was travelling in a clearly marked vehicle.

"Clearly the shooting would be in retaliation to the work of Ramsi, which has been extraordinarily successful until today," he said. "The message for the Solomon Islands people who have carried out this murder is we will not be put off."

Some 2,225 troops and police from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Tonga arrived in the Solomons in July 2003 to restore order and disarm ethnic gangs.

They succeeded in clearing the streets of thousands of weapons and remanding key militant commanders in custody.

A smaller contingent of police and troops have stayed on to ensure the stability continues.

As part of Australia's new-found role as peacekeeper in the South Pacific, the country has also begun sending police officers and bureaucrats to Papua New Guinea. It will send 210 police and more than 60 other officials in total

(c) BBC


Kit Reviewer
Go well Digger.

I'll have one for you tonight.
My bro-in-law was a District Officer in Papua New Guinea when it was still run as a colony by Oz. After independence he worked for, I think, RTZ, in Oz. He was asked to go back to PNG in a negotiating role when the place dissolved into tribal anarchy. He hadn't been there 24 hours when he was ambushed not far from the hotel and shot in the back.

That was bad enough, but he then got a bad dose of hepatitis from the blood they gave him and was at death's door for days.

It's pretty bad here, but there are worse places.
Rest In Peace Digger

Condolences to Family and friends

Lest We Forget
The response - a company of diggers from Townsville will be deployed (1RAR?).
Three planeloads of Australian troops will today leave for Solomon Islands, in a show of force directed at rebels around Honiara.

The Federal Government has ordered an infantry company from Townsville to leave for Honiara, after the murder of 26-year-old Australian Protective Service officer Adam Dunning.

A sniper using a military-style rifle fired on the police vehicle that Mr Dunning was travelling in with another officer.

Mr Dunning was shot in the back and died at the scene.

The infantry company, who have been on rapid response stand-by for several months, was given just 24 hours notice of their deployment.

Defence Minister Robert Hill says 100 troops will leave in three waves, arriving in the Solomons throughout the afternoon.

"They will travel by C-130," he said.

"We expect the first C-130 to be off the ground by midday."

Senator Hill says the military deployment is intended to send a message to armed rebels that Australia will not be intimidated.

There will now be around 260 Defence personnel and 150 Federal Police in the Solomons.

The Government is giving no indication how long the soldiers leaving Townsville will be required to stay.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said yesterday that the murder was being fully investigated but agreed it would not deter the work of Australian police in the Pacific region.

He said commanders of the force in the Solomons were considering the use of body armour.

"The police in Solomon Islands, remembering that it is largely an unarmed mission because so many weapons have been removed from the community, don't [want to] have a knee-jerk reaction to this," he said.

"[We want to] have a measured response. Having said that, we will take every precaution necessary to protect our own staff."

Similar threads

Latest Threads