RAMSI’s drawdown preparations are well on track, the country’s Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was informed.
This came after RAMSI Special Coordinator Quinton Devlin, and the Deputy Special Coordinator, Alex Cameron briefed Mr Sogavare on the development phases of the RAMSI drawdown strategy on Friday.
A statement from the Prime Minister Press Secretariat said, with six more months to go, the regional security initiative headed by Australia is scaling down its operation.
It will soon hand over the reins of the country’s security to the local police – Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).
“Everything that RAMSI needs to finish on its drawdown activities are well on track,” Mr Devlin said, adding the regional mission is embarking on its nation-wide community outreach program to ensure the transition is well understood by Solomon Islanders when the regional security initiative leaves Solomon Islands in June 2017.
Mr Devlin said RAMSI is working hand in hand with the Government Special Secretary to RAMSI and the Office of the Commissioner of Police on the RAMSI drawdown awareness.
Mr Devlin said the awareness on the drawdown will boost public confidence in the ability of the RSIPF and the overall Government machinery once RAMSI leaves Solomon Islands.
He said investing resources for rural policing infrastructure would be a foreseeable challenge for the Government.
In response, Mr Sogavare said he is satisfied with the gradual but yet steady phase of the RAMSI drawdown.
He said the Government is fully committed to its obligations in rural policing, and is fully aware of the challenges.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the Government would not want a situation where RAMSI’s withdrawal would also be seen as ‘taking the confidence way’ from the RSIPF and the Government machinery.
The Prime Minister said the RSIPF has now been recognized as one of the top regional police force with wide commendations from various sectors.
He said this professionalism is displayed by the deployment of RSIPF for international peace keeping and humanitarian duties abroad under the auspices of the United Nations.
Furthermore, he said the RSIPF is now conducting police training in other Pacific Island countries such as Nauru and Tuvalu, which also boosted their regional and international profile.