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By Moffat Mamu

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Nov. 22) – Four communities visited by a RAMSI [Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands] Outreach Team in Malaita recently have expressed their gratitude to the work of RAMSI in Solomon Islands and want it to remain.

[PIR editor’s note: Malaita province comprises the island of Malaita and surrounding smaller islands, and is located northeast of Guadalcanal where the national capital is situated.]

The communities of Dukwasi, Ambu, Kilusakwalo and Fiu were visited by the team over the last two days.

During the team’s program in the respective villages, villagers expressed the need for RAMSI to continue its role in the country.

A Dukwasi man, Nelson Lui Ata, said their community had been victim of the ethnic crisis and do not want such experiences repeated.

"During the ethnic tension mothers and children live in fear and were unable to go to the gardens or do their normal chores. But today we are able to enjoy life once more because of the presence of RAMSI," Mr. Ata said as he thanked RAMSI for its service to the country.

At Ambu Village, a spokesperson Francis Wale said RAMSI must remain in Solomon Islands. "It is because of your presence that we are able to move around freely without fear," Mr. Wale said. He said his community was among those continually threatened by gunmen during the tension days.

The RAMSI outreach program is the first of its kind in the province and consists of representatives from the Special Coordinator’s Office, Participating Police Force, military personnel, economic reform and machinery of governance.

The aim is to provide villagers with update information about the work of RAMSI, those who participate in the mission, the progress of their work, the current law and order situation in Solomon Islands, and the economic situation.

During the team’s visit to Fiu Village, a villager Derrick Taka told them that more work should be done by RAMSI.

Therefore he said, "RAMSI must accomplish the mission it had been assigned to do before it must leave the country. We really appreciate the work of RAMSI and want them to stay on."

During the talks the RAMSI delegation pointed out that there is a long way to go for the country to enjoy the life it once enjoyed and so the communities must work in partnership with RAMSI to achieve the mission.

All the communities have acknowledged the delegation for their visit because it was fruitful and rewarding to get facts and first hand information about RAMSI and its work.

The delegation includes Sue Ingram Coordinator of the Machinery of Governance, Jane Ingram Office of the Special Coordinator, Andrew Beaumont and Bruce Arnold of Ministry of Finance, Gino Gaspari and Sepola Niulakita of the Participating Police Force (PPF), Capt Setareki Bogidrau and Lance Coporal Karl Arand of the Coalition Task Force.

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