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Abstract: In the late 1990s, violence erupted between Guadalcanalese and Malaitan citizens on the main island of Guadalcanal. At the root of
the conflict was the anger felt by some Guadalcanal leaders over what they considered to be unfair land policies. Rival militias were formed
and by 1998 the country dissolved into violence. The Isatabu Freedom Movement, ostensibly representing the Guadalcanalese, forced
approximately 20,000 Malaitans off Guadalcanal Island. In 2000, after the failure of several reconciliation ceremonies, the Malaitan Eagle
Force abducted Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu and forced him to resign for failing to respond adequately to this violence.
The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) arrived in 2003, having been formally requested by the Governor‐
General. RAMSI has had a profound effect in shaping the Solomon Islands' recent history, as it has focused on stabilizing the country by
improving governance. However, there remains a moderate potential for the re‐emergence of violent conflict due to a number of factors
including: failure to adequately address the root causes of the 1998‐2003 conflict, an unstable and ineffective government, an unsustainable
economy, the effects of climate change and natural disasters, poor human development, demographic stress, and the lack of a clear exit
strategy for RAMSI. The country lacks the capacity to effectively deal with economic and environmental crises, and left unchecked this has
the strong potential to result in renewed violent conflict.
Abstract: In the last couple of decades, debate within the international community and the Pacific has centred on the challenges posed to socio-economic and political development by insecurity and conflict. This focus has also resulted in a shifting understanding of security, which now includes the safety and well-being of people and communities as well as the security of the state.
The Pacific, like other regions, is dealing with a difficult and diverse set of law enforcement, governance and security challenges. The region has witnessed violent conflict, civil unrest and political crises. This has led to a growing recognition of the critical role of law enforcement agencies and security institutions. However, in recent years, there have been concerns that these institutions lack capacity to meet the challenge of providing security to the general public; that governments do not have the necessary civilian security expertise to manage them; that legislatures are not empowered to oversee them; and that security forces are not held accountable under the law for their actions. Effective governance of security institutions is vital for the Pacific region. In the context of conflict and violence, it supports the efforts of state institutions to stabilize the security situation, begin the road to recovery and reduce the potential of relapse. In non-conflict contexts, it ensures security institutions fulfil their mandate to combat insecurity. This creates an enabling environment for poverty reduction and sustainable development.
Abstract: As agreed by Member States at the 2005 World Summit, the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
rests on three pillars: the responsibility of the State to protect its own population from
genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity; the duty of the
international community to provide States with assistance and capacity-building; and the
international community’s responsibility to take timely and decisive action, in accordance with
Chapters VI, VII and VIII of the UN Charter, in cases where the State is manifestly failing in its
responsibility to protect. Of the three pillars, the measures that States, regional and sub-regional arrangements and
the UN might take to exercise their pillar two responsibilities are least well understood. The
range of possible assistance that might be provided to State extends from small scale
bilateral partnerships relating to technical matters, to different forms of targeted development
assistance, to comprehensive and multifaceted assistance arrangements. The key thing that
unites all of these measures is that they involve partnerships and require the express
invitation of the host State. In short, pillar two activities are primarily concerned with assisting
the State to exercise its responsibility to protect. By doing so, pillar two actively strengthens
the State and its sovereignty. In the past decade, there has been a flourishing of global
partnerships aimed at strengthening States. Much of this activity make a direct contribution to
helping States exercise their R2P and should therefore be properly understood as pillar two
This case study report briefly considers one such example – the Regional Assistance Mission
to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
Abstract: In July 2009, the UN General Assembly held an Interactive Informal Dialogue and plenary session on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP). The dialogue provided the first opportunity for the UN membership as a whole to discuss implementation of the 2005 World Summit’s commitment to the RtoP and the UN Secretary-General’s report on the matter. Fifteen governments from the Asia-Pacific region, namely Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Japan, China, Vietnam, Solomon Islands, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, DPRK, PNG and Malaysia, participated in the dialogue. This culminated in a resolution co-sponsored by, inter alia, Australia, Fiji, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Timor-Leste and New Zealand that noted the Secretary-General’s report, observed the fruitfulness of the interactive dialogue, and committed the Assembly to further consideration of the RtoP.
According to the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, one of the most significant aspects of the dialogue was the positive transformation of attitudes towards the RtoP within the Asia-Pacific region. Having previously been considered the region most opposed to the RtoP, the region now boasts near unanimity in its endorsement of the principle and the Secretary-General’s efforts towards its implementation (with the exception of North Korea).
Abstract: The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is currently involved in peacebuilding operations in Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands; Australian government agencies remain engaged in reconstruction in post-conflict Bougainville (Papua New Guinea). Peacebuilding has been and will remain a major task for the ADF in the Pacific, as part of a larger governmental and aid response. The wider context for these commitments is the view that state incapacity or even failure is in prospect in parts of Australia’s immediate Pacific region. The causes of state failure include lack of a diversified economy, a dependence on exports of natural resources, a rapidly growing population, and poor education levels; a number of Pacific countries exhibit these characteristics. The conflict on Bougainville has been the most intractable in which Australian forces have been involved. The formation of Peace Monitoring Groups (largely composed of ADF personnel, but unarmed) engaged in weapons destruction, building trust and encouraging the eventual realisation of local autonomy was a major contribution to the peace process. The ADF experience of Timor-Leste dates from INTERFET. The need to redeploy peacekeeping troops in 2006 demonstrated that the existing peacebuilding program focused especially on security sector reform, while positive was still too narrow to address governance incapacity problems. From 2003 ADF elements have been central to the RAMSI reconstruction program in Solomon Islands. Though violence has largely been eradicated, the political crisis of 2006 demonstrated the need for the closest cooperation with the host government. These regional case studies show that peacebuilding is a complex task which requires engagement across all of the institutions of order and governance as well as with the wider society. Security sector reform remains a crucial area of peacebuilding in which military forces are inextricably involved. However, effective security reform depends ultimately upon the existence of governments that welcome, support, and own such reform.
Abstract: In recent years, the Pacific has not been an ocean of peace. After a generally harmonious transition from European colonialism to independence, a number of the small Pacific island states have been plagued by internal conflict.
The largest of the Pacific island states, Papua New Guinea, having withstood the challenge of regional separatist groups in Papua and in Bougainville on the eve of independence, faced a rebellion on Bougainville from 1988 to 1997 (and is still in the process of implementing a peace agreement) and has seen an escalation of local-level inter-group fighting in the central highlands over the past two decades. Fiji became the first Pacific island state to have a military coup, in 1987, and continues to suffer the effects of racially-based tensions. In the Solomon Islands, ethnic divisions contributed to an outbreak of violence on the island of Guadalcanal in 1998, which culminated in the effective collapse of government two years later. Vanuatu’s transition to independence was marred by a separatist rebellion on the island of Santo, and although it has enjoyed a relatively peaceful history since 1980 it has had to survive more than one constitutional crisis. In New Caledonia, independence demands by the indigenous kanak people resulted in violent confrontation between pro- and anti-independence groups in the 1980s, and New Caledonia remains a French dependency.
While each of these cases is, to some extent, a unique reflection of particular historical and other circumstances, there are some recurring features of the internal conflicts, which largely derive from the fragmented nature of the pre-colonial societies and/or ethnic divisions created by the influx of settler populations during the colonial period, and the absence, in all these cases, of a developed sense of national (as opposed to local) identity.
This paper will briefly describe the nature of the conflicts in each of the four states and one territory listed above, and the processes of conflict resolution in each. It will then attempt to identify what features are common and what are unique in the five cases, and to suggest some lessons from their experience, which might be relevant to conflict and peace-making elsewhere.
Abstract: This paper suggests ways by which the
Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands
(RAMSI) and Australian policy generally might
assist in building state and nation in Solomon
Islands. The first section of our paper briefly surveys
the experience of nation and state building in
other parts of the world, and the second examines
the Solomon Islands context and how the country
came to be in its present plight. These sections
establish that there are few successful models from
which to draw lessons, and offer some guidance
on the kinds of reforms and of development
assistance required in the Solomons.
We then propose approaches RAMSI should
adopt in the Initial Phase (Phase I) and in the
Post-Stabilisation Phase (Phase II). Although we
accept Phase I – Phase II terminology, the options
and our recommendations are not necessarily
sequential. Most should be set in motion from
the outset. Our major recommendation is that
attention should be focused on helping establish
processes – robust and sustainable – by which
change in key areas of governance can be effected
in large part by Solomon Islanders.
For Phase II we recommend a focus on revisiting
(cautiously) the constitutional review
process with a view to broadening the debate
on federalism; strengthening the key decision
making institutions; encouraging civil society;
and giving sustained attention to policy on law
and justice, communications, rural development,
youth affairs and ‘flashpoints’, especially Honiara.
In conclusion we review long- and short-term
risks and obstacles that could undo or hinder the
recovery and regeneration of Solomon Islands.
Abstract: Internal conflict has become the predominant threat to the security and stability of many of the small island nations of the Southwest Pacific and particularly in the countries of Melanesia.
Since the late 1980s, conflicts of varying causes and degrees of intensity have occurred in Papua New Guinea (Bougainville secession attempt)i, Fiji (coups and attempted coups), Vanuatu (police rebellion) and Solomon Islands (ethnic conflict and coup).
These events have seriously debilitated the already fragile national economies and polities of all countries, so much so in the Solomon Islands that that country is now being described by many analysts as a “failing”, if not “failed”, state.ii
While most of these countries have so far been able (not without difficulty) to maintain a measure of state integrity, the situation in Solomon Islands has become so precarious that Australia and New Zealand (with the support of most Pacific Island governments and anticipating a request from the Solomons’ parliament) are preparing to intervene in an attempt to restore the rule of law and rebuild administrative institutions. The form of that intervention is not yet clear - it is thought likely to include up to 2,000 armed military and police with a large team of civilian technical personnel – nor has a mandate been determined.
In this context a host of questions arises as to how best to resolve, contain, manage and/or transform these internal conflicts in the interest of the security, stability and well-being of the peoples of the countries concerned and of the region as a whole. The purpose of this paper is to consider one form of conflict management undertaken recently in the region; that is, the peace monitoring interventions by Australia, New Zealand and some Pacific Island Countries (PICs) in Bougainville and Solomon Islands. How useful have these exercises been in assisting peace processes and in conflict management/peace construction, and what lessons can be drawn from them for any future such operations - including perhaps for the more vigorous “co-operative intervention” currently in prospect?
Abstract: The Lowy Institute and the Solomon Islands Working Committee on Political Party Integrity Reform held a conference in Honiara on 24 and 25 September 2008 to explore the potential for reforms to engineer greater political stability in Solomon Islands. The conference sought to identify mechanisms to address the endemic problems that have plagued the sustainable development and prosperity of Solomon Islands, including disparities between the demands of the Westminster system and society's expectations of members of parliament, weak political parties, flaws in the electoral system, frivolous use of motions of no confidence and corrupt practices.
The report of the conference and options for reform proposed by participants have been published in this Lowy Institute Perspective
Abstract: This paper quantifies the impact of terrorism and conflicts on income per capita growth in Asia for 1970–2004. Our panel estimations show that transnational terrorist attacks had a significant growth-limiting effect. Transnational terrorism reduces growth by crowding in government expenditures. An internal conflict has the greatest growth concern, about twice that of transnational terrorism. For developing Asian countries, intrastate and interstate wars have a much greater impact than terrorism does on the crowding-in of government spending.
Policy recommendations indicate the need for rich Asian countries to assist their poorer neighbors in coping with the negative growth consequences of political violence. Failure to assist may result in region-wide repercussions. Conflict and terrorism in one country can create production bottlenecks with region-wide economic consequences. International and nongovernmental organizations as well as developed Western countries and regions could assist at-risk Asian countries with attack prevention and post-attack recovery.
This study has six purposes. First, and foremost, we present panel estimates for a sample of 42 Asian countries to quantify the impact of terrorism and conflicts on income per capita growth for 1970–2004. Panel estimation methods control for country-specific and timespecific unobserved heterogeneity. Second, we distinguish the influence of terrorism on economic growth from that of internal and external conflicts. Third, these influences are investigated for cohorts of developed and developing countries to ascertain whether development can better allow a country to absorb the impact of political violence. Fourth, econometric estimations relate violence-induced growth reductions to two pathways— reduced investment and increased government expenditures. Fifth, a host of diagnostic and sensitivity tests to support our empirical specifications. Last, we draw some policy conclusions.
Abstract: In July 2003, under Operation Helpem Fren, the 16 member states of the Pacific Islands Forum deployed troops, police and civilian advisors to Solomon Islands through the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). As of late-2007, there were are over 350 Australian police and military personnel serving in Solomon Islands as part of RAMSI, together with more than 150 civilian advisors. The military forces are tasked to provide security for police and civilian staff who make up RAMSI’s Participating Police Force (PPF) - over 220 police from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and state police forces are part of the PPF, which also includes police contingents from around the region. Under Operation Anode, the ADF has deployed a military contingent to support the policing operation in Solomon Islands. ADF personnel are the largest contingent in a Combined Task Force serrving together with New Zealand, PNG, Fijian and Tongan troops. Australian civilian advisers make up the overwhelming majority of RAMSI staff working in various Government ministries and in RAMSI-supported projects. The numbers of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel deployed to Solomon Islands have varied over time - after an initial deployment of over 1,400 people in July 2003, the number of troops has wound down, and the military component has recently been supplemented by rotations of reserve troops from Australia and New Zealand.
Abstract: In March 2003, a U.S.-led multinational force began operations in Iraq. At that time, 48 nations, identified as a "coalition of the willing," offered political, military, and financial support for U.S. efforts in Iraq, with 38 nations other than the United States providing troops. In addition, international donors met in Madrid in October 2003 to pledge funding for the reconstru#ction of Iraq's infrastructure, which had deteriorated after multiple wars and decades of neglect under the previous regime.
This testimony discusses (1) the troop commitments other countries have made to operations in Iraq, (2) the funding the United States has provided to support other countries' participation in the multinational force, and (3) the financial support international donors have provided to Iraq reconstruction efforts.
Abstract: With a matter of weeks to prepare, Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) personnel landed on July 24, 2003, armed for conflict but equally ready to restore peace without firing a shot in anger. RAMSI's aim was to assist the existing government in reestablishing order and rebuilding this island nation plagued by escalating militia violence, crime, and corruption. RAMSI police forces, with the much larger military component in a supporting role, were patrolling the streets alongside their Solomon Islands counterparts on the very day of arrival. This and many other early actions on the part of RAMSI leadership presented a clear and cohesive message that would characterize operations from that day forward: RAMSI had not come to take charge through the use of force, though it had the capability to do so; it had come to assist and protect. This study reviews the remarkable successes, and the few admitted shortcomings, of RAMSI operations through the lens of broader application to current and future counterinsurgency efforts. Foremost among these lessons is the need for consistency of mission and message from leadership down to the lowest echelons of an operation, ensuring that the population is appropriately and consistently informed.
Abstract: The purpose of this analysis is to describe and analyse one innovative example of state-building, which has had early success and about which there is growing international interest: the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). It does not make grand claims about the applicability of the RAMSI model to other weakened states: the scale of the challenge in Solomon Islands is radically different from that in, say, Afghanistan or Iraq, and we know that the success or failure of state-building owes at least as much to national conditions as it does to operational approaches. The aim is to identify the critical elements of one small but significant case and place it in an international context. The study concludes with a short account of the mission's future challenges.
Abstract: The central purpose of this report is to present the
voices of Solomon Islanders, which are at risk of not
being heard in this period of rapid change. The report
builds on earlier work undertaken by a reference group
of Solomon Islands' scholars, civil society leaders, and
public intellectuals, presented at the Australian Centre
for Peace and Conflict Studies' Peace, Justice and
Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific Reg#ion conference,
at the University of Queensland in 2005. Research
was undertaken through extensive interviews by
Anna Powles, Paul Roughan, Nancy Kwalea and
Anne Lockley, during 2005, with communities and
civil society groups in Malaita, Guadalcanal and
Western Province; members of the Solomon Islands
Government; RAMSI officials and Australian diplomatic
personnel in Honiara; and Australian Government
officials in Canberra. The names of individuals and
organisations who did not wish to be identified have
Abstract: Operation Anode is the name of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) contribution to the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). RAMSI's assistance is known as Operation HELPEM FREN (Pidgin English for 'Helping Friend'). RAMSI's mission is to assist the Solomon Islands' Government in restoring law and order. The military component of RAMSI comprises of personnel from five troop contributing nations. They are; Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Tonga. The main task for the military component is to provide security for RAMSI's multinational Participating Police Force.
Abstract: The decade since the early 1990s has witnessed the growth of a field of research and practice aimed at resolving and preventing violent conflict. Research on violent conflict has led to a number of different theories on causes of violent conflict, many of them based on the study of large-scale, protracted conflicts in Africa and the Balkans. Advocates of conflict prevention have linked longer-term root causes of violent conflict to aspects of underdevelopment, and tensions inherent in development processes.
Abstract: Women play a vital role in creating and maintaining peace at the community level in the Solomon Islands and they have been greatly affected by the conflict through displacement, vulnerability to rape, harassment, and economic hardship. Despite their exclusion from formal decision-making processes, Solomon Islander women have moved between the different combatant groups persuading men to lay down arms; women negotiators took on the traditional go-between role, which is a traditional method of conflict resolution in the Solomon Islands.
Abstract: The early warning data presents a moderate risk level for armed conflict in the Solomon
Islands, with 12 out of 44 indicators in the high risk level. There is also a general tendency
towards low economic development and considerable gender inequality within the Solomon
Islands. These tendencies are important because both are strongly linked to an increased
likelihood of conflict - however all factors must be considered in the context of the many
positive elements and opportunities currently present in the Solomon Islands.
The high risk indicators from the survey data cluster around the categories of governance
and land, with several others in the economics and social and ethnic relations categories.
Abstract: This Discussion Paper was written as a
contribution to policy deliberations on how
the xe2x80x98Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon
Islands' might assist the people and government
of Solomon Islands rebuild their state and nation
after years of divisive and debilitating internal
conflict. Issues raised in the paper will have
relevance for policy-makers, donor agencies and
Abstract: This essay seeks to answer the questions,
"What went wrong in Solomon Islands? Why
was the government overthrown in mid 2000?
Why did civil war erupt mainly between
Guadalcanal and Malaitan people?" The answers
are to be found partly in recent regional and
global factors that have impacted this state since
independence, such as the Bougainville conflict,
the fall in commodity prices in the 1980s,
and the burgeoning of Neo-Classical economics
in the West. More significant, however, are
the deeper structures and patterns of the more
distant past. This essay will first examine
the nature of traditional Solomons' societies
and how these operated at the local level,
the significance of local identity, and other
enduring Melanesian values that continue to
influence politics. The nature of Christianity
and colonialism will next be considered
because these have also left their mark, often
changing the balance of population-resource
ratios, encouraging greater mobility and raising
expectations that have fostered dependence on
global economic linkages. Regional expressions
of social, economic and political ways and
means emerged both before and after the
Second World War, but these indigenous protest
movements largely collapsed in the face of the
colonial government's opposition.
Abstract: This paper considers why and in what
circumstances small arms are acquired by
individuals and groups in selected areas of
the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
It reviews the xe2x80x98demand' for small arms - a
comparatively understudied thematic area of the
disarmament sector. Demand for small arms is
shaped by a dynamic combination of motivations
(e.g. socially and culturally-mediated preferences
for small arms) and means (e.g. relative monetary
and non-monetary prices and individual and
collective resources to acquire them). The
theoretical moorings of the paper draw from an
extensive literature review (Muggah and Brauer
2004), while its empirical foundations emerge
from fieldwork undertaken in the South Pacific
Abstract: The year 2003 marked a significant change in Australia's strategic relations with the island Pacific, including Papua New Guinea (PNG).1 Since gaining independence in the 1970s, the states of the Southwest Pacific have been largely left to control their own political and economic affairs. While providing substantial amounts of bilateral aid, Australia has been sensitive to charges of neo-colonialism and interference with national sovereignty. All this appears to have #changed, however, with the Howard government's adoption of a distinctly more robust and interventionist approach. The objective is to restore or enhance security and stability in the troubled Pacific island states. Although poverty reduction and sustainable development continue to be its primary goals, the Australian aid program is now being calibrated to reflect Canberra's new strategic priorities. In practice, there is also an increasing reliance on the deployment of Australian personnel in key government agencies in recipient countries.
Abstract: Ethnic tension escalated on Guadalcanal in December 1998, although tensions had ebbed and flowed for some years before that. Guadalcanal people resented the influence of settlers from other islands and their occupation of land. The settlers, particularly from Malaita, were drawn to Honiara and its environs by economic opportunities.
During 1999 ethnic violence perpetrated by some indigenous residents of Guadalcanal against immigrants from Malaita (both constituent parts of the country) led to several deaths, kidnapings, and the flight of nearly 23,000 persons from Guadalcanal. An uncounted number of Guadalcanal villagers also abandoned their homes to hide in the bush for extended periods, due to fear of militant and police activity or retribution from dispossessed Malaitans.