Solomon Islands PM blames foreign powers for unrest as protests spread By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Smoke is seen after buildings had been set on hearth in Chinatown, as Solomon Islanders defied a government-imposed lockdown and protested within the capital, in Honiara, Solomon Islands November 25, 2021, on this nonetheless picture taken from video offered o

By Colin Packham and Kirsty Needham

CANBERRA (Reuters) -Foreign nations are accountable for stoking unrest that has led to violent protests within the Solomon Islands, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare mentioned on Friday, as the small South Pacific island nation struggles to quell the unrest.

Sogavare declared a 36-hour lockdown within the nation’s capital, Honiara, on Wednesday as authorities struggled to forestall protestors burning buildings and widespread looting.

Many of protestors have come from probably the most populous province Malaita, the place many really feel neglected by the federal government within the wake of its opposition to the Solomon Island’s 2019 determination to finish diplomatic ties with Taiwan and set up formal hyperlinks with China.

Sogavare mentioned the anger has been stoked by unnamed foreign nations.

“I feel sorry for my people in Malaita because they are fed with false and deliberate lies about the switch,” Sogavare advised the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“These very countries that are now influencing Malaita are the countries that don’t want ties with the People’s Republic of China, and they are discouraging Solomon Islands to enter into diplomatic relations and to comply with international law and the United Nations resolution.”

Sogavare declined to call the nations, as protests continuied to grip the Solomon Islands.

Solomon Island resident Transform Aqorau mentioned greater than 100 folks had been on Friday looting outlets and there was no resistance from police.

“The scenes listed here are actually chaotic. It is sort of a battle zone,” Aqorau advised Reuters by phone.

“There is not any public transport and it’s a wrestle with the warmth and the smoke. Buildings are nonetheless burning.”

Sogavare’s feedback got here as Australian cops arrived within the Solomon Islands.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday mentioned he accepted a requested from Sogavare for assist and Canberra would deploy simply over 100 personnel to assist Solomon Islands’ authorities in guarding important infrastructure.

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