Rory Callinan; 28/4/10
Hostility has developed between Solomon Islands police and their mostly Australian advisers over everything from cultural traditions to access to cars, boats and even photocopying paper. Some islanders want the armed foreign officers and their military counterparts, who together make up the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, to be gradually withdrawn and deployed only for the most serious circumstances. The problems were uncovered in a comprehensive review of the policing component of the mission, which costs Australia about $120 million a year and has been deployed since 2003. Last year’s review involved four experts assessing the effectiveness of RAMSI’s Participating Police Force, which includes 224 Australian Federal Police out of a total of 283 officers helping to rebuild the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.