THE Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is a Micronesian island nation in the Western Pacific Ocean. The Republic is young nation, having gained its independence from the United States only in 1986. Though historical accounts point to early Micronesian settlements around 2 BC, Spanish explorer Alonso de Salazar was the first European to sight the Marshalls in 1526 and English captain John Marshall followed in 1788. The islands owe their name to the English captain.
A German trading company settled on the islands in 1885, and they became part of the protectorate of German New Guinea some years later. Japan conquered the islands in World War I, and administered them as a League of Nations mandate. In World War II, the United States invaded the islands (1944), and they were added to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands which included several other island groups in the South Pacific.
In 1979, the Republic of the Marshall Islands was established and a Compact of Free Association with the US government was signed, becoming effective in 1986. …