Thursday, 27 September 2012 9:34 AM

Four More Years for RAMSI

The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) is likely to still be in Solomon Islands for at least another four years.

This was revealed by the RAMSI Special Coordinator, Nicholas Coppel to the Premier of Rennell and Bellona, George Tuhaika during a meeting in the provincial headquarters at Tigoa, West Rennell this week.

The Special Coordinator had trekked more than 15 kilometres by foot and travelled several hours by boat to reach the communities at Lake Tegano, East Rennell. According to Mr Coppel, it was clear from discussions with villagers from these communities that a lot of people would like RAMSI to stay in Solomon Islands.

It was clear also that the Province was in desperate need of better roads.

Mr Coppel told Premier Tuhaika that while there are changes underway in how RAMSI will operate in Solomon Islands, the policing element of RAMSI will be here for at least the next four years.

He said the Participating Police Force would continue with its focus on assisting the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force to build its capacity through training and technical assistance.

The Provincial Police Commander for Rennell and Bellona, Bari Saukiu and Provincial Secretary, Adrian Tuhanuku were also present at the meeting to brief the Special Coordinator.

Mr Coppel told them that he now had a much better understanding of the difficulty in delivering government services and attracting tourists to the province after personally experiencing the virtually impassable road from West to East Rennell.