International Peace Monitoring Team (IPMT)

International Peace Monitoring Team (IPMT)


Before the 2003 RAMSI intervention, Australia had deployed forces to address the crisis in Solomon Islands, including the deploytment of warships in Operation Trek and Operation Plumbob and support for the International Peace Monitoring Team (IPMT) in 2000.

“Small arms in post-conflict situation – Solomon islands”, David Hegarty (IPMT leader), Paper presented at Pacific Islands Forum Small arms workshop 9-11 May 2001

“The International Peace Monitoring Team (IPMT) is an unarmed and neutral organisation that was established at the request of the signatories to the Townsville Peace Agreement (TPA) to monitor and assist the peace process in the Solomon Islands with particular reference to the provinces of Guadalcanal and Malaita.

“The IPMT commenced work in early November 2000. It comprised 47 police, defence and civilian personnel from ministries and agencies in Australia and New Zealand. Currently the IPMT is in its second rotation of Monitors and includes, in addition to personnel from Australia and New Zealand, Monitors from the Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga and Botswana (the latter being a representative nominated by the Commonwealth Secretariat) numbering 48 in total. Many Monitors have experience with small arms issues and in peace-keeping and peace-monitoring operations.”

Commentary and analysis

The responsibility to protect, Bob McMullan and Dave Peebles, monograph, April 2006

Unfortunately, the IPMT was only partially successful. Comprehensive disarmament and weapons disposal dfid not occur; the compensation for grievances process became corrupted; and ethnic conflict evolved into a broader pattern of criminality. Ex-militias formed criminal gangs and the police were involved in corruption and criminal activity. It became impossible to re-establish the rule of law. A former Police Commissioner was assassinated, ten people were killed in an attempt to arrest a most notorious warlord and a cabinet minister was assassinated.

“The IPMT departed the Solomon Islands in June 2002, four months early, following agreement by the Government of Solomon Islands, Australia and New Zealand that “it had done all it could to assist the peace process.”