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Peacekeepers to leave Solomon Islands after 14 years

Prime minister appeals to UN for help to prevent fresh outbreaks of civil strife

Australian soldiers destroy surrendered militant arms in 2003. (Courtesy Australian Aid)

AUCKLAND -- A 14-year peacekeeping mission involving 15 countries is to end this month in the Solomon Islands, but concerns are rising that the $2.1 billion effort has failed to establish political stability.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare told the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission in New York on June 7 that the peacekeepers' departure is creating "uncertainty and anxiety." Sogavare requested that the U.N. step in when the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) wraps up on June 30.

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