The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) yesterday announced the sudden death from natural causes of the Commander of the Vanuatu Contingent in RAMSI's Participating Police Force (PPF), Amos Solip.

RAMSI Special Coordinator, Graeme Wilson, said he was shocked by the unexpected passing of Chief Inspector Solip, who died in his sleep yesterday morning at the provincial police post of Isuna on the Weathercoast of Guadalcanal. He was 54 years of age. Mr Wilson said he was deeply saddened by the untimely death of Chief Inspector Solip who headed a team of five ni-Vanuatu in RAMSI's Participating Police force. "Chief Inspector Solip was a highly valued member of RAMSI's Police Force who performed with great professionalism," Mr Wilson said. "His work was a reflection of the outstanding contribution Vanuatu continues to make to RAMSI in support of the Solomon Islands," Mr Wilson said.

RAMSI PPF Commander, Mr Denis McDermott, said he was greatly saddened by Chief Inspector Solip's unexpected passing. He had personally informed the Acting Vanuatu Police Commissioner, Willie Vira, yesterday morning, of the tragic loss. "He will be sorely missed and will always remain in our memory. The Vanuatu people have lost a committed public servant and a loyal and much loved police officer". Both RAMSI leaders extended their deepest sympathies to Commander Solip's wife and daughter during this difficult time. "On behalf of all members of the Mission, we express our condolences to the Contingent and Members of the Vanuatu Police Service and Commander Solip's family," they said.

Chief Inspector Solip, who had been the Commander of the Vanuatu Police Contingent since his arrival in Solomon Islands in December 2008, was stationed at Isuna on the Weathercoast of Guadalcanal at the time of his passing. A memorial service will be held today at RAMSI headquarters and the body will subsequently be repatriated to Vanuatu. Members of the Vanuatu Contingent in the Solomon Islands have been formally notified of the death of Commander Solip and all Mission Welfare and Chaplaincy resources have been made available to these members.

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