Tonga to receive new patrol boats under maritime security scheme

Tonga will receive new patrol boats from Australia.

The new patrol boats are being donated under the Pacific Maritime Security programme.

The first vessel is scheduled for delivery in late 2018.

The other countries to receive the new patrol boats are the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

Tonga and other Pacific nations were given Pacific class patrol boats in the 1990s.

Speaking at the Pacific Foreign Affairs Minister’s meeting in Suva, Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said the boats would be used to combat increasing rates of transnational crimes in the region.

Drug smuggling, people trafficking and illegal fishing were serious problems for the island nations.

Bishop said Island nations needed more resources to fight illegal fishing, drug trafficking and human trafficking.

The Foreign Minister said she would table a proposal for a regional peace keep force at next month’s next month’s Pacific Forum Leader’s meeting in Samoa.

This would be similar to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) force which was sent to the Solomon Islands in July 2003 in response to the civil war.

The main points

  • Tonga will receive new patrol boats from Australia.
  • The new patrol boats are being donated under the Pacific Maritime Security programme.
  • The first vessel is scheduled for delivery in late 2018.
  • Tonga and other Pacific nations were given Pacific class patrol boats in the 1990s.

For more information 

Australia provides 19 new patrol boats to Pacific island region 

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