By Sarah E. Treptow
Impunity Watch Reporter, Oceania
SYDNEY, Australia – An additional 140 Australian reserve soldiers will be deployed to the Solomon Islands to join Operation ANODE, the Australian Defense Force, which is part of the larger Regional Assistance Mission Solomon Islands (RAMSI). The soldiers will help maintain peace and stability in the Solomon Islands along with help the local government improve law and order according to the Australian federal government.
The soldiers are from South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia and will have a four-month deployment. During their deployment they will carry out street patrols with the Australian Federal Police. The soldiers will also be involved in a number of community outreach initiatives that are a part of RAMSI.
Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said, “Their contribution in Solomon Islands is made all the more exceptional by the fact that their civilian employers have released them to provide military service to a neighbor in need.”
Since 2006, the Australian Defense Force has deployed 5 Army Reserve Company groups adding up to more than 700 part-time soldiers.
RAMSI started on 24 July 2003 with a mandate unanimously approved by the Solomon Islands National Parliament “to help the Solomon Islands Government restore law and order, strenghten government institutions, reduce corruption, and re-invigorate the economy.” Fifteen countries contribute personnel to the mission, including police officers, military, and civilians.
For more information, please see:
Solomon Star News – More Aussie troops heading for here – 27 October 2008
Islands Business – More troops deployed to Solomons – 27 October 2008