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Australian Federal Police say Solomons mission to stay 21/11/2008

The Australian Federal Police say Solomon Islands is a long way from being able to maintain its own security.

Federal officers have been leading the RAMSI regional assistance mission to the country since an outbreak of community violence in 2003.

The AFP plans to remain in the Solomons for at least another five years to develop the local force and other public institutions.

The assistant commissioner, Frank Prendergast, has told an Australian parliamentary inquiry some progress has been made, but there are ongoing problems.

"As evident from the RAMSI People's Survey, public confidence in the Solomon Islands institutions remains low and there exists collective fears of a return to inter-communal violence should RAMSI withdraw," he said.

"More importantly, the underlying causes of the conflict remain and the economic outlook is likely to contribute to instability."

Produced by Radio Australia and Australia Network

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