4 Feb 2008

Claims RAMSI too narrowly focused in its development mission in the Solomons

6:35 am on 4 February 2008

An Australian academic says RAMSI has failed in Solomon islands, because it is too narrowly focused in it's development mission

The Solomons Prime Minister, Derek Sikua, says his government is committed to RAMSI but wants to see more resources made available for development work particularly in rural areas.

A policy analyst at the Centre for Independent Studies, Gaurav Sodhi, says RAMSI has only done half of its mission in completing the security aspect, and needs to focus on education, health and agriculture issues.

"They have to be there, for at least the medium term. The problem is, without tackling unemployment, creating jobs for people, you can't ensure security, and if you can't ensure security, you have no exit strategy, out of the Solomons. And at the moment, no one can really indicate how long RAMSI has to be in the Solomon Islands. I mean it's a very risky operation."

Gaurav Sodhi says there needs to be a land survey, and some kind of statistical census done, at the very least.