20 Jan 2005

Solomons church leader criticises RAMSI

7:19 am on 20 January 2005

The Church of Melanesia's Bishop of Malaita, Terry Brown, has criticised the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.

Writing in the Solomon Star newspaper, the bishop said the force should have been quicker to catch two men now accused of killing the Australian police officer, Adam Dunning.

Bishop Brown said that Mr Dunning's killing suggested there were still what he described as "fatal weaknesses" with RAMSI and its police.

The Bishop went on to say that if RAMSI was serious it needed a 10 to 15 year plan, and funding commitment, for developing human resources in Solomon Islands.

He argued this wasn't possible because he said Australian foreign aid could be planned and agreed upon, only one year at a time.

However Mr Brown also said RAMSI had done very good work on high profile cases of serious criminal activities.