29 Jul 2014

RAMSI review notes flawed impact

8:31 pm on 29 July 2014

A review of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands says the scaled back operation now should be talked about in the past tense

RAMSI began in 2003 as a Pacific Islands Forum-sanctioned response to five years of violent ethnic ensions in Solomon Islands.

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Photo: RAMSI Public Affairs

Don Wiseman reports that while RAMSI was seen to have achieved its initial aim of restoring law and order, its overall impacts have been mixed:

"With significant police and military input from Australia and New Zealand RAMSI endeavoured to restore law and order, help remake governance systems and bring back business confidence. The review, called the RAMSI Decade, says the intervention allowed the Solomons to move beyond the years of tension but it says it might have worked better as a more narrowly focussed peacekeeping and peacebuilding operation. The review details the successes of the ten-year period but also points up flaws. It says those state institutions that had the least contact with RAMSI have fared better since. It also says the RAMSI years fostered a sense of dependency and demoralisation, which it says is particularly evident in the police force. The report says better paid and resourced Australian Federal Police re-establishing the rule of law is not an obvious path to self reliance. And the reviewers say with RAMSI now a much reduced policing support operation, it can best be talked of in the past tense."