Australia To Deploy Police, Military To Solomon Islands As Protests Spread

Australia will deploy greater than 100 police and army personnel to help the Solomon Islands, Prime Minister Scott Morrison mentioned on Thursday, as protesters within the Pacific Island nation defied a curfew to protest for a second consecutive day.

Morrison mentioned Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare had requested Australian help, which Canberra’s nationwide safety committee shortly authorized.

Australia will ship 23 law enforcement officials instantly to help with riot management, Morrison mentioned, with an extra 50 personnel to implement safety at vital infrastructure.

Morrison mentioned one other 43 army troops will likely be despatched to help Australian law enforcement officials.

“Our purpose here is to provide stability and security to enable the normal constitutional processes, within the Solomon Islands, to be able to deal with the various issues that have arisen,” Morrison instructed reporters in Canberra.

“It is not the Australian government’s intention in any way to intervene in the internal affairs of the Solomon Islands, that is for them to resolve.”

The deployment of Australian personnel comes amid reviews and pictures shared on social media exhibiting crowds of protesters and burning buildings within the Chinatown district of Honiara.

Many protesters travelled from probably the most populous province Malaita to the capital due to concern about being neglected by the nationwide authorities, in response to media reviews.

The province opposed a 2019 resolution to finish diplomatic ties with Taiwan and set up formal hyperlinks with China, leading to an independence referendum final 12 months which the nationwide authorities has dismissed as illegitimate.

The Solomons, the scene of a few of the fiercest combating within the Second World War, skilled main rioting in 2006 following disputed elections, with many Chinese-owned companies in Honiara burnt and looted.

Sogavare on Wednesday declared a 36-hour lockdown in Honiara after the most recent unrest, calling it “another sad and unfortunate event aimed at bringing a democratically elected government down”.

The lockdown, which might run till 7 a.m. on Friday, would “allow our law enforcement agencies to fully investigate the perpetrators of today’s events and to prevent further lawless destruction,” Sogavare mentioned.

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) urged individuals attending faculties and companies round Honiara to remain residence to keep away from being affected by unrest.

“We want to make sure that our streets, schools and businesses will reopen soon after the lockdown,” mentioned RSIPF deputy commissioner Juanita Matanga in a press release.

“I am asking for your cooperation until the situation turns normal.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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