Solomon Islands

 

The UK established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the bitterest fighting of World War II occurred on this archipelago. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. Ethnic violence, government malfeasance, and endemic crime have undermined stability and civil society. In June 2003, then Prime Minister Sir Allan KEMAKEZA sought the assistance of Australia in re-establishing law and order; the following month, an Australian-led multinational force arrived to restore peace and disarm ethnic militias. The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has generally been effective in restoring law and order and rebuilding government institutions.

 

Geography:
Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea
Geographic coordinates: 8 00 S, 159 00 E
People:
Population:  584,578 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 37.8% (male 111,265/female 104,896)

15-64 years: 58.3% (male 169,873/female 163,621)

65 years and over: 3.9% (male 10,879/female 11,356) (2011 est.)

Government:
Country name: conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Solomon Islands

local long form: none

local short form: Solomon Islands

former: British Solomon Islands

Government type: parliamentary democracy
Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use: 8,400 (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 30,000 (2009)
Transportation:
Airports: 36 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: no regular military forces; Solomon Islands Police Force (2009)
Manpower available for military service: Males age 16-49: 142,913 (2010 est.)

Transnational Issues:

Disputes – international: since 2003, the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), consisting of police, military, and civilian advisors drawn from 15 countries, has assisted in re-establishing and maintaining civil and political order while reinforcing regional stability and security
Refugees and internally displaced persons: IDPs: 5,400 (displaced by tsunami on 2 April 2007) (2007)