July 24, 2013
The acting president of Nauru says Nauru’s Australian police commissioner Richard Britten was suspended over his refusal to recruit young Nauruan men as police reservists.
Acting president David Adeang says there were fears more than 500 asylum seekers could break out of the centre and cause havoc on the rest of the island.
Mr Adeang authorised a call out to 200 young Nauruan men to support the Nauru Police and security guards at the asylum seekers processing centre during the riot on Friday night that destroyed most of the centre’s buildings.
He says a Nauruan policewoman was put in charge of the force and she requested the support of the reservists.
“We had a difference with the police commissioner over how we thought the incident would be handled by the Nauru police force,” Mr Adeang said.
“We found we had no confidence in his views, in his attitude to handling the protest which was growing very quickly to become a riot.”
Mr Adeang says the future of Nauru’s police commissioner, Australian federal policeman Richard Britten, is unsure at this stage.
“That is a matter we think we would like to take to the president as the substantive minister for police to consider himself,” he said.
“At the moment, we are quite happy with the performance of the current director of police.
“Further discussions with the Australian government will have to be led by the president himself who’s away in Honiara right now.”
The riot on Friday night destroyed most of the centre’s buildings with an estimated cost of $60 million dollars.
Rebuilding at the centre has begun.