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1998 – 2003

THE TENSIONS

The Tensions were a period of civil unrest in Solomon Islands mainly characterised by fighting between different ethnic militant groups. In December 1998, existing ethnic tensions on Guadalcanal rapidly escalated. The Solomon Islands Government struggled to respond to the complexities of this evolving conflict. There were also a number of attempts at reconciliation but to no avail and by late 1999, the government had declared a state of emergency.

 

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2003 – 2017

ENTER RAMSI

The prevailing atmosphere of lawlessness, widespread extortion, and ineffective police prompted a formal request by the Solomon Islands Government for outside help. This led to the creation of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) led by Australia and New Zealand.

 

 

 

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April 2003

Documentary

Urgent request for assistance

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza requests urgent assistance from Australia.

Watch the documentary >

June 2003

Australia leads a regional assistance mission

Australia offers to lead a regional assistance mission if a formal request is made by the Solomon Islands Governor-General, on the advice of Cabinet, and the mission has regional endorsement.

June 2003

PIF endorses RAMSI under Biketawa Declaration

Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers endorse the RAMSI deployment under the Biketawa Declaration in 2000. The Declaration enables Forum members to act in times of crisis or in response to a member’s request.

Biketawa Declaration >

July 2003

Arrival of RAMSI

Thousands of Solomon Islanders gather at Honiara’s Henderson International Airport to witness the arrival of more than 2,000 soldiers, police and civilians from Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

July 2003

RAMSI treaty signed

The RAMSI Treaty, which set out the mission’s mandate, was signed in Townsville by the Prime Ministers of Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga, and senior officials from Solomon Islands and Samoa.

RAMSI Treaty >

August 2003

Documentary

First firearms amnesty

Thousands of weapons are handed in across the nation by former militants, police and other gun-holders during a 21-day firearms amnesty.

Watch the documentary >

August 2003

Provincial police presence established

The RAMSI Participating Police Force (PPF) establishes its first provincial presence in Avu Avu, restoring a police presence on the Weathercoast for the first time in nearly five years. Over coming months, RAMSI establishes a presence in 17 provincial locations.

August 2003

Harold Keke surrenders

Guadalcanal militant leader Harold Keke surrenders peacefully to RAMSI Special Coordinator, Nick Warner, and Participating Police Force Commander, Ben McDevitt.

August 2003

Peace rally in Honiara

A major peace rally fills the streets of Honiara celebrating the nation’s newfound peace.

September 2003

Rove Central Prison re-opens

Rove Central Prison re-opens, with the first 12 cells of what becomes a 300-bed high security facility.

November 2003

First 100 days of RAMSI

3,700 firearms destroyed, 340 arrests, Government finances stabilised and payroll restored.

February 2004

Regional cooperation: PNG joins RAMSI

Papua New Guinea agrees to contribute police.

February 2004

Regional cooperation: Nauru joins RAMSI

Nauru agrees to contribute police.

December 2004

Flag of Tuvalu

Regional cooperation: Tuvalu joins RAMSI

The small island nation of Tuvalu contributes police officers.

December 2004

RAMSI suffers a casualty

Participating Police Force officer Adam Dunning shot dead in Honiara, RAMSI’s first and only casualty by armed opposition.

January 2005

Trial of Harold Keke begins

The trial of renegade Guadalcanal Liberation Force commander Harold Keke – the first major Tensions-related trial – begins.

September 2005

Civic education project launched

RAMSI launches a civic education project to educate citizens about their democratic rights and responsibilities in a democracy ahead of the 2006 General Election.

March 2006

Flag of the Federated States of Micronesia

Regional cooperation: Federated States of Micronesia joins RAMSI

The Federated States of Micronesia contribute police to RAMSI.

April 2006

Documentary

Chinatown riots

Two-days of riots erupt and wide-scale looting and burning of Chinese-owned businesses follow the 5 April election and subsequent swearing in of Prime Minister Snyder Rini. 25 RAMSI police officers are seriously injured.

Watch the documentary >

May 2006

Regional cooperation: Palau joins RAMSI

May 2006

First People’s Survey conducted

People’s Survey Pilot conducted in selected areas of Honiara and Guadalcanal, Malaita, Western and Choiseul Provinces. The annual People’s Survey would show that public support for RAMSI never waned, remaining above 85 per cent.

People's Survey launch >

May 2006

Regional cooperation: Republic of the Marshall Islands joins RAMSI

October 2006

Community Outreach Program

RAMSI Community Outreach Program launches with representatives of RAMSI’s civilian, police and military components, along with Solomon Islands Government counterparts.

April 2007

Earthquake and tsunami strike

RAMSI assists with relief efforts after a large earthquake and tsunami struck Solomon Islands’ Western provinces, killing 52 people and destroying 900 homes.

March 2008

RAMSI marks first International Women’s Day

First RAMSI Women’s Breakfast held for more than 200 women marking International Women’s Day.

June 2008

Tragic death of a Solomon Islander

RAMSI apologises for the tragic death of a young Solomon Islands woman in a fatal accident involving a RAMSI vehicle driven by an off-duty Samoan police officer in Honiara.

March 2009

Inaugural Special Coordinator’s award for women

First Special Coordinator’s Award for Women presented to community volunteer, Betty Komasi, in recognition of her founding of the Mercy School in the Burns Creek settlement. RAMSI also appoints a Gender Adviser to strengthen efforts on behalf of women and men of Solomon Islands.

April 2009

Partnership Framework receives bipartisan endorsement

Partnership Framework between Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI endorsed by both parties and the Forum Ministerial Standing Committee on RAMSI.

Partnership Framework between Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI >

August 2009

The new Auki Correctional Centre will ensure Solomon Islands now meets all United Nations standards for corrections

New Correctional Centre opens

The new Correctional Centre in Auki, Malaita Province, meets all the United Nations standards for prisoner accommodation and treatment.

November 2009

Foreign Relations Committee inquiry handed down

The Solomon Islands Foreign Relations Committee praises RAMSI for its significant achievements and concludes that the greater involvement of the Pacific Islands Forum in the Mission’s governance has been effective.

View the FRC Final Report excerpt >

December 2009

New Public Service Code of Conduct launched

Launch of the new Public Service Code of Conduct, which was developed with assistance from RAMSI.

March 2010

Being the First: Storis Blong Olketa Mere lo Solomon Aelan book launch

Being the First: Storis Blong Olketa Mere lo Solomon Aelan, the first book on Solomon Islands’ women leaders launched with RAMSI’s assistance.

May 2010

New court complex built

New court complex opens in Auki, Malaita province, jointly funded by Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI.

July 2010

New shared facilities built

Leadership Code Commission and Ombudsman’s Office move into new shared facilities built by Solomon Islands and RAMSI.

August 2010

National Election conducted smoothly

RAMSI helped with civic education across the nation about the parliamentary process, encouraged women to run for office, strengthened election management, improved voter registration systems, transported ballot papers and ballot boxes, and bolstered Royal Solomon Islands Police Force security operations ahead of the election.

August 2010

Titinge incident

Fatal shooting of a Solomon Islander on the outskirts of Honiara. First and only time that the actions of RAMSI personnel operating in the line of duty result in the death of a Solomon Islander.

December 2010

Economic recovery milestone

Revenue collections exceed SBD1 billion in 2010, the first time in the history of the nation.

March 2011

New accommodation handed over to local police

First of 146 new police houses formally handed over to RSIPF officers and their families in Honiara by RAMSI’s Police Accommodation Project.

May 2011

Dovetail dialogue commences

Dovetail dialogue on RAMSI’s Transition held between the Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI officials.

August 2011

RAMSI begins to withdraw from provincial posts

RAMSI Police withdraw from the first provincial police post in Buala, Isabel Province, as part of the Transition to a solely police assistance mission.

November 2011

Riot controlled by RSIPF

Solomon Islands Police Response Team lead the quelling of a near-riot in Honiara following the election of Gordon Darcy Lilo as Prime Minister.

April 2012

Documentary

Mere Blong Iumi, Stori Blong Oketa

Mere Blong Iumi, Stori Blong Oketa documentary capturing the experiences of Solomon Islands women produced by the RAMSI Public Affairs Unit premiers on local One Television.

Mere Blong Iumi, Stori Blong Oketa >

June 2012

RAMSI exhibition at United Nations New York

Achievements of the Solomon Islands-RAMSI partnership feature in an exhibition on peacekeeping at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The exhibition also toured Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Rebuilding a Nation – RAMSI Partnership >

August 2012

New Provincial Police Headquarters

New RSIPF Provincial Police Headquarters opens in Isabel Province.

Handover of Buala Police Headquarters >

November 2012

NZ troops farewell RAMSI and Solomon Islands

The final New Zealand Defence Force platoon departs.

November 2012

Gizo Police Post opens

New Provincial Police Headquarters open in Gizo, Western Province

April 2013

Troops farewelled

Papua New Guinea Defence Force troops are farewelled as RAMSI prepares to become a solely police assistance mission.

June 2013

Development partners increase their support

Australia is Solomon Islands’ main development partner. Australian development assistance to Solomon Islands, continues to focus on improving health, education, water and sanitation, transport, telecommunications, law and justice, rural livelihoods and effective governance.

Link to Solomon Islands Aid Program Performance Report 2013-14 >

June 2013

Bilateral relationship strengthened

RAMSI’s civilian development activities shift to Australian and New Zealand aid programs and other development partners.

July 2013

RAMSI’s 10th anniversary

Written to mark the 10th anniversary of RAMSI, ‘Rebuilding a Nation in Partnership’ examines RAMSI’s achievments. The book is a tribute to the Government and people of Solomon Islands and to all those people who worked as civilians, soldiers and police officers for the Mission.

Read the ebook >

August 2013

Drawdown Strategy 2013-17 agreed

PPF-RSIPF Drawdown Strategy 2013-2017 agreed, including an agreement that RAMSI would reduce its resources and footprint with a view to transferring full responsibility for policing and national security before 30 June 2017.

PPF-RSIPF Drawdown Strategy 2013-2017 >

October 2013

RAMSI gifts boats to RSIPF

RAMSI announces it has gifted 32 boats to the RSIPF, increasing its fleet four-fold, as part of the maritime mobility plan funded jointly by the Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI.

March 2014

New Police Act

The new Police Act 2013, which was developed with RAMSI’s support, comes into effect and provides the necessary legal foundations to support a modern RSIPF.

New Police Act 2013 officially launched >

April 2014

Floods devastate Honiara

Flash flooding on Guadalcanal causes significant damage to homes, infrastructure and livelihoods, affecting an estimated 52,000 people. The RSIPF leads the overall response to the floods, with RAMSI support in operational planning, aerial support, search and rescue operations and patrols. Gold Ridge Mine suspends its operations and RAMSI deploys technical experts to assist the Solomon Islands Government assess risks from hazardous materials on site.

World Bank's Rapid Assessment of Flash Flood, 2014 >

May 2014

RSIPF controls unrest

Community frustration with flood relief efforts is managed by the RSIPF Police Response Team with support from RAMSI and Australian High Commission.

July 2014

Seif Ples clinic opens in Honiara

Seif Ples clinic for victims of family and sexual violence opens with support from the RSIPF Sexual Assault Unit and RAMSI. Since opening in 2014 the Seif Ples Clinic has been offering a place of safety and access to urgent medical care for survivors of violence.

Link to Seif Ples Gender-Based Violence Crisis and Referral Centre >

September 2014

RSIPF provides training for PICs

RSIPF officers conduct training in Public Order Management for Nauru Police Force members. Before RAMSI left, the RSIPF would also train police in Samoa and Vanuatu.

November 2014

2014 National election held

Solomon Islands national election is declared free and fair by electoral observers. The RSIPF successfully conducts its largest and most visible operation since 2003, supported by RAMSI, which increased its numbers to support election security operations.

December 2014

Mbike Island incident

Firearm and arson attack near Mbike Island, Central Province, on a boat that had transported 17 newly elected Members of Parliament. No one injured or killed.

March 2015

RSIPF rearmament discussions

Provincial consultations on the limited and staged rearmament of the RSIPF commence.

June 2015

RSIPF provide security for summit

RSIPF successfully lead the planning and delivery of security for the Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders’ Summit in Honiara.

June 2015

New police station

RAMSI hands over new RAMSI-built police station in Auki, Malaita Province.

RAMSI hands over new police station in Auki >

July 2015

RSIPF budget receives boost

The influential ‘Appropriate Cost of Solomon Islands Police Service’ report presented to Solomon Islands Government, and later endorsed by Cabinet.

September 2015

RAMSI police advisers withdraw

Auki-based RAMSI police advisers withdraw, 12 years after setting up the post to support the RSIPF in Malaita Province.

October 2015

Edmund Sae arrested

Long-time fugitive Edmund Sae arrested in Malaita for the 2003 murder of former Police Commissioner Sir Frederick Soaki, closing the chapter on one of the last major Tensions-era crimes.

November 2015

Launch of children’s story book

RSIPF and RAMSI launch a children’s story book to discourage alcohol abuse and family violence and build trust in the police.

December 2015

RSIPF increase their visibility

The RSIPF conduct high visibility patrols and boat safety operations throughout the Christmas period.

April 2016

Family Protection Act

Solomon Islands Government passes the Family Protection Act 2014, which formally recognises protection orders and provides the basis for assistance to victims of domestic violence.

Preventing family violence >

May 2016

RAMSI completes withdrawal from provinces

Gizo-based RAMSI police advisers withdraw from Western Province. Now RAMSI is only based in Honiara.

Link to news article >

June 2016

New armoury opens at Rove Police Headquarters

Opening of the RAMSI-built RSIPF National Response Department headquarters and armoury at Rove Police Headquarters in Honiara.

August 2016

Capability Development Plan

The Solomon Islands Government endorses the RSIPF’s five-year Capability Development Plan, which will inform government decision-makers and guide future development partners.

August 2016

Operation Janus

RSIPF and Ministry of Finance and Treasury sign an agreement that leads to the high-profile Operation Janus, which investigates and prosecutes fraud and corruption in the Solomon Islands public service.

September 2016

PIF leaders endorse RAMSI’s conclusion

Pacific Islands Forum Leaders endorse the withdrawal of RAMSI in June 2017 and congratulate Solomon Islands and RAMSI on the significant progress made to date.

December 2016

Earthquake strikes

On 9 December 2016, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck 70 kilometres south-west of the island of Makira, 187km from Honiara. The RSIPF provide first response, with limited assistance from RAMSI.

 

 

January 2017

Community consultations

RAMSI and SIG step up their extensive program of community consultations ahead of RAMSI’s conclusion in June 2017.

April 2017

Staged RSIPF rearmament

Members of the RSIPF’s Police Response Team and Close Personal Protection team are rearmed so that the RSIPF can protect its communities, borders and waters.

May 2017

Firearms amnesty

Second firearms amnesty and gun collection and destruction program.

June 2017

RAMSI farewell celebrations

A week of end-of-mission and farewell celebrations commence in Honiara.

June 2017

Permanent RAMSI exhibition opens

Launch of the permanent RAMSI exhibition at the National Museum, Honiara.

June 2017

RAMSI ends

The RAMSI mission concludes on 30 June 2017.