20 Jun 2004

RAMSI says its job not infrastructure development in Solomon Islands

12:06 pm on 20 June 2004

The co-ordinator of the RAMSI intervention force, Nick Warner, has rejected criticism by a Solomon Islands churchman, who says RAMSI should work more closely with communities to boost the country's infrastructure.

The Catholic Archbishop Adrian Smith says RAMSI should liaise with chiefs over projects that would involve the large number of young people living in rural areas.

Mr Warner says they have made a large effort to work with chiefs and rural communities, and have provided specific peace dividends in specific areas which have been severely affected by conflict.

But he says it's not RAMSI's job to rebuild the country.

"RAMSI is not an aid agency...we don't and won't get involved in the construction of infrastructure around the country....that is a job of NZAID, Australia and Japan"

But Nick Warner says they can and have in the past provided assistance in specific areas affected by years of conflict.