RAMSI officially ends

The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands – RAMSI – officially closed on 30 June 2017 after nearly 14 years of assistance provided to the Solomon Islands Government.

CAPTIONAustralian Federal Police and Royal Solomon Islands Police patrol the dock at Honiara (2003). AFP photo by Brian Hartigan.

A new beginning for gun-free Solomon Islands.
Read CONTACT magazine feature on RAMSI (click image)

Minister for Defence Marise Payne said the outstanding success of RAMSI reflected the enduring commitment of Australia and its regional partners in working together to assist the people of the Solomon Islands.

“As an Australian-led mission, RAMSI included assistance from 15 nations and supported the rebuilding of peace and stability in the Solomon Islands,” Minister Payne said.

“The Defence contribution to RAMSI under Operation ANODE was significant, with more than 7000 Australian Defence Force members and Defence civilians deployed to the Solomon Islands along with rotations of Defence Force personnel from Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.”

After a successful 10-year ADF commitment, RAMSI transitioned to a policing-only mission in July 2013.

The mission came at a price, however. In December 2004, Australian Participating Police Force Officer Adam Dunning was shot and killed in an ambush near Honiara – and, in March 2005, Australian Army Private Jamie Clarke died after falling into a cave while searching for weapons caches in Central Guadalcanal.

More than 25 Participating Police Force personnel were also injured in riots in April 2006.

To mark the successful end to RAMSI, the Solomon Islands Government hosted end of mission and farewell activities in Honiara this week, culminating in today’s Closing Ceremony attended by Vice Chief of the Defence Force Vice Admiral Ray Griggs.

Minister Payne said Australia would maintain its enduring commitment of assistance and support to the security and stability of Solomon Islands with ongoing support in policing and governance.

“This support complements the Defence Cooperation Program, which provides focussed support in maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, capacity building and explosive ordnance disposal,” Minister Payne said.

“RAMSI is widely recognised as a very successful demonstration of regional stabilisation, and an excellent example of Pacific cooperation.”

 

Visit official RAMSI web site here.
Visit Operation ANODE homepage here.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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