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NZ withdraws part of contingent to Solomon Islands

24 May 2006

NZ withdraws part of contingent to Solomon Islands

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today that the thirty extra New Zealand police and some of the additional defence personnel sent to the Solomon Islands in the wake of rioting there last month will be coming home soon.

Helen Clark said that the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, in consultation with the Solomons Police Commissioner, has advised that the security situation has stabilised sufficiently for the additional police deployed to be withdrawn.

“Some of the extra military personnel deployed will also be coming home. New Zealand had prior to the riots a platoon deployed to the Solomon Islands on a normal rotation. It will continue its deployment, and, as well, some of the extra personnel deployed a few weeks ago will stay on until the situation settles further.

“Recent events have shown that the Solomons Islands new government has many challenges in front of it. New Zealand is committed to working as part of RAMSI and bilaterally with the Solomon Islands to assist it to deal effectively with these challenges,” Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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