Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands is a nation in Melanesia, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. Together they cover a land mass of 28,400 square kilometres. The capital is Honiara, located on the island of Guadalcanal.

The Solomon Islands have been inhabited by Melanesian people for at least 30,000 years. The United Kingdom established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the most bitter fighting of World War II occurred on these islands. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. The country remains a Commonwealth Realm.

Since 1997 ethnic violence, government misconduct and crime have undermined stability and civil society. In June 2003 an Australian-led multinational force, the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), arrived to restore peace and disarm ethnic militias.

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