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PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has told visiting Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner, Andrew Colvin that RAMSI must help in getting rid of guns that are still out in communities before its intervention contract will end in 2017.
He says although there has been relative peace in the country since the Australian-led intervention forces arrived more than a decade ago, incidents in which guns have been used confirm guns are still out there in communities.
Mr Sogavare told the visiting AFP Commissioner that Solomon Islanders are afraid of guns because they had seen what they had done and could still do to communities.
But while Prime Minister Sogavare acknowledges that the engagement of RAMSI has been costly to Australia and other contributing nations, he is now a happy man because it has become obvious people are living in peace and are going about their normal businesses without fear and intimidation as a result of their efforts.
He explains a lot has been achieved over the years, but the major challenge now is how to maintain them, adding consultations between Honiara and RAMSI must continue even after its withdrawal.
Meanwhile, Mr Sogavare says foreign friends have expressed positiveness about Solomon Islands advancing into the future after those difficult years.
He says the positive expressions make him feel very proud as the Prime Minister of a country that was once labelled as a failed state.
And Prime Minister Sogavare told Mr Colvin that he has confidence in the future of Solomon Islands.