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Solomon Islands

Map Courtesy CIA World Factbook

The Solomon Islands is a nation in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea and is part of the Commonwealth of Nations. It consists of more than 990 islands, which together cover a land mass of 28,000 square kilometres.

The United Kingdom established a protectorate over Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the most intense fighting of World War II occurred on these islands. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence was granted on July 7, 1978. Current issues include corruption, land relations, government deficits, deforestation, and malaria control.

Continuing civil unrest led to an almost complete breakdown in normal activity: civil servants remained unpaid for months at a time, and cabinet meetings had to be held in secret to prevent local warlords from interfering. The security forces were unable to reassert control, largely because many police and security personnel are associated with one or another of the rival gangs.

In July 2003 the Governor General of the Solomon Islands issued an official request for international help, which was subsequently endorsed by the government. A sizable international security contingent of 2,200 police and troops, led by Australia and New Zealand, and with representatives from about 20 other Pacific nations began arriving the next month under Operation Helpem Fren, the Australian contribution is known as Operation Anode.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Solomon Islands ".