World Solomon Islands protests: 3 burned bodies found in Chinatown in Honiara following days of unrest
Protesters defy government lockdown order in Solomon Islands
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Demonstrators in the Solomon Islands defied government lockdown orders to take to the streets for a second day Thursday in violent protests. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare had declared the lockdown Wednesday after about 1,000 people gathered in protest in the capital Honiara demanding his resignation over a host of domestic issues, according to local media reports. The protesters breached the National Parliament building and burned the thatched roof of a nearby building, the government said. They also set fire to a police station and other buildings. “They were intent on destroying our nation and ...
Three charred bodies have been found in a burned out building in the Chinatown district of the Solomon Islands' capital, Honiara -- the first reported fatalities afterthat saw more than 100 people arrested.
Police are investigating the cause of their death and their identities, and do not have further information to disclose at this point, Solomon Islands police media officer Desmond Rave told CNN on Saturday.
"Honiara is quite tense at the moment, but the city is getting back to normal," Rave said.
Honiara, Solomon Islands: Australia defense personnel dispatched as violent protests continue for second day
Australia is deploying police and defense personnel to support authorities in the Solomon Islands, as violent protests continued for a second day in the capital, Honiara on Thursday, despite a 36-hour lockdown being imposed. © Georgina Kekea via Reuters Protesters gather outside Parliament in Honiara, Solomon Islands, on November 24, 2021. Demonstrators from the country's most populous island, Malaita, had traveled to the capital in a spillover of anger about a host of domestic issues including unrealized infrastructure promises, media reported. They demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogevare.
Security forces have been unable to halt unrest in Honiara that began on Wednesday with protesters demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and the looting and burning of shops and businesses.
Demonstrators are also calling for the government to limit ties with China, respect the rights of self-determination of the Malaita people, and to resume development projects in Malaita province -- home to the country's most populous island.
More than 100 people have been arrested as of Saturday, according to police, who appealed to rioters to stop looting and burning buildings and warned of further arrests if the unrest does not stop.
Solomon Islands PM blames foreign powers for unrest as protests spread
Solomon Islands PM blames foreign powers for unrest as protests spreadCANBERRA (Reuters) -Foreign countries are responsible for stoking unrest that has led to violent protests in the Solomon Islands, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said on Friday, as the small South Pacific island country struggles to quell the unrest.
To bolster local police, troops from thearrived in Honiara on Friday, Australia's High Commissioner to the Islands confirmed on Saturday.
Sharing a photograph of a RAAF C-17 troop transporter landing in the capital, Dr. Lachlan Strahan, Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands tweeted, "The ADF arrives in Honiara!"
Australia's Joint Operations Command released photos on Saturday of soldiers from the Army's 3rd Brigade, 6th Brigade and 17th Brigade disembarking military transport aircraft as part of the "emergency assistance mission."
The Australian peacekeepers have been deployed at the request of the government of the Solomon Islands. Their arrival comes after a third night of violence that saw the Prime Minister's residence come under attack and large parts of the capital reduced to ashes, according to Agence France-Presse journalists in Honiara.
Unrest continues in Solomons with PM blaming foreign powers
Looting and violence continue for a third day in the capital as Australian police arrive.Police fired tear gas and warning shots at protesters, the AFP news agency reported, citing its journalists at the scene. The group had already set fire to at least one building in the area.
Australia's Ministry of Defense said it had also deployed the Royal Australian Navy patrol boat HMAS Armidale to the Islands to support local forces in maritime security.
Papua New Guinea also deployed a security team to the Solomon Islands on Friday following a request from the Pacific island nation, PNG Prime Minister James Marape said in a statement.
The security team, comprised of 20 police and 15 correctional service members, is deployed to assist Solomon Islands' police to "stop looting and vandalism" in Honiara, and is subject to increase if the need arises, the statement read.
The Solomon Islands government on Friday declared a nightly curfew and advised all public servants to stay at home. The curfew will last from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily, effective from Friday.
"During the period, only authorized officers are allowed to move within the city," a government statement said.
On Friday, the central government advised all public servants to stay at home due to the unrest, with the exception of essential workers, and encouraged staff to ensure they had food supplies "due to the uncertainty of the current situation."
On Thursday, a local journalist said fires were blazing in Chinatown, and the police had lost control in eastern Honiara.
New Zealand to send peacekeepers to crisis-hit Solomon Islands .
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday ordered police and troops to join an international peacekeeping mission in the crisis-hit Solomon Islands following deadly anti-government riots. New Zealand took part in the last Australian-led peacekeeping mission in the Solomons, which stretched from 2003-17. Officials in Canberra insist the current deployment will only last "a matter of weeks" and that its focus is on policing, not intervening in the Solomons' political situation.