6 Jul 2005

Forum releases review of RAMSI

8:29 pm on 6 July 2005

The Pacific Islands Forum has issued its report on the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands which arrived on Guadalcanal nearly two years ago.

The report by an Eminent Persons Group has concluded that RAMSI has been successful in restoring law and order but found that the hard part still lies ahead.

The review was commissioned by the Solomon Islands prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, and carried out by a group led by Fiji's foreign minister, Kaliopate Tavola.

Its report acknowledges RAMSI's success in stabilising the country but notes that pockets of conflict remain as calls persist for the instigators of the crisis to be prosecuted.

It says RAMSI is being perceived as a mainly Australian exercise and it recommends a greater role for others from the region - in particular it suggests that a Pacific Islander head the Pacific Islands contingent of the Participating Police Force.

The report says after the initial intervention it's timely that Solomon Islanders assume a bigger role in the running of the country.

And it recommends that a Truth and Reconciliation Commission be set-up and a Commission of Inquiry to look at land issues and the cause of the conflict.

The report gives no timeline for RAMSI but says it should be measured by achievement of tasks.