Armed Australian soldiers and police walk through a market in the Solomon Islands capital of Honiara back in 2004.
Armed Australian soldiers and police walk through a market in the Solomon Islands capital of Honiara back in 2004. LLOYD JONES

Police in Solomons to withdraw

DEFENCE Minister Marise Payne says the time is right for Australian police to withdraw from the Solomon islands in late June.

The 15-country Australian- led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands was created in 2003 when the Pacific island nation was plagued by divisions and violence, much of it related to land ownership.

The situation has stabilised in recent years, with RAMSI's military operation winding down in 2013 and the focus moving to policing.

Ms Payne told ABC Radio institutions in the country were ready for RAMSI's departure in just over two months.

"I think this has been

a long time coming,” she said.

"I think the Solomon Islands ... is in the right place now to go ahead.”



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