SOLOMONS PEACE FORCE HAILS SUCCESS

SYDNEY, Australia (ABC News Online, Nov. 1) - The Australia-led foreign intervention force in Solomon Islands says it is celebrating the success of the first 100 days of its operation to restore law and order.

The head of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, Nick Warner, says the 2,000-strong military force has achieved more than he had thought possible.

He says the arrest of more than 340 people, including 25 police officers, is an indication of the progress being made.

He says that as the military presence decreases, the mission will focus more on nation-building and economic measures, including the placement of advisors in the finance ministry.

Mr Warner says the regional assistance mission has laid a strong foundation but its personnel, the people of Solomon Islands and the Government must continue to work together.

There was a similar upbeat assessment from the Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, during the week, when he announced a downscaling of RAMSI's military presence in the Solomons.

Meanwhile, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza says his people must take the success achieved with the assistance of the Australian-led intervention force and continue its work themselves.

Sir Allan was speaking on national radio to mark 100 days since the regional assistance mission arrived in Solomon Islands.

He says every citizen must now take responsibility for the country's future.

Sir Allan says the current stability could not have been achieved by Solomon Islanders without the assistance of the regional mission led by Australia.

He urged all citizens to work towards a better future for the country with the on-going support of the Australian-led mission.

November 3, 2003

ABC News Online: www.abc.net.au

 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment