Tuesday, 18 September 2007 9:59 AM

RAMSI Review Will Protect Our Laws: PM

Manasseh Sogavare says the need to review RAMSI is pertinent to protect the laws of Solomon Islands from being disregarded by foreign interests.

Mr Sogavare said the heavy handed military approach undertaken by the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) to restore law and order in the country after years of social unrest was relevant only to the rampant situation before 2003. He said the situation now is different and warrants a review of the entire framework which the intervention mission operates under.

Mr Sogavare said a special workshop for members of parliament will be organized shortly to seriously consider the areas identified by parliament as requiring review. He said his government is not anti-RAMSI as suggested by both the international and local media.

"What the government is concerned about is the respect for our laws, systems and procedures, which have been grossly undermined," he said. Mr Sogavare said his government is fully committed to the procedures set by Forum leaders last year in the review of RAMSI.

Meanwhile, provincial premiers last week called for a reduction of RAMSI police in provinces with very low crime rates.

The premiers suggested that money spent on those officers should be redirected to the development needs of the provinces with little crime rates. They recommended that officers posted to these areas be re-deployed to other provinces which are yet to fully recover in terms of security.

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