Solomon Islands Prime Minister accuses “foreign powers” of unrest after Australia sends troops

Author: | Posted in World News No comments

Malaita’s Prime Minister has been critical of Sogavare’s decision in 2019 to sever the country’s diplomatic ties with Taiwan, instead of exchanging his diplomatic loyalty to China and accusing him of getting too close to Beijing.


The province has also complained that it has been unfairly deprived of state investment.

The protesters on Wednesday raided 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 focused on destroying our nation and … the trust that was slowly building up among our people,” the government said in a statement.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the deployment includes a department with 23 federal police officers and up to 50 more to provide security at critical infrastructure sites, as well as 43 defense forces, a patrol boat and at least five diplomats.


The first staff left Australia on Thursday with more going on on Friday, and the deployment was expected to last for a few weeks, Morrison said.

“Our purpose here is to provide stability and security,” he said.

Morrison said Sogavare was seeking help from Australia in the midst of the violence under a bilateral security agreement.

“It is not the intention of the Australian Government to intervene in any way in the Solomon Islands’ internal affairs. It is up to them to resolve,” he said.


“Our presence there does not indicate a position on Solomon Islands’ internal affairs,” Morrison added.

The Solomon Islands, about 1,500 kilometers northeast of Australia, were the site of bloody battles during World War II.

After being captured by the Japanese, US Marines landed on the island of Guadalcanal in August 1942 to launch a campaign to regain control. They were successful, although fighting in and around the Solomon Islands continued during the end of the war.

Australia led an international police and military force called the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, which restored peace in the country after bloody ethnic violence from 2003 to 2017.

Following the outbreak of the current protests, Sogavare ordered that the capital be closed from 7pm on Wednesday to 7pm on Friday after saying he had “witnessed another sad and unfortunate incident aimed at overthrowing a democratically elected government”.

“I honestly thought we had gone through the darkest days in our country’s history,” he said. “Today’s events, however, are a painful reminder that we have a long way to go.”

Despite an announcement from the Solomon Islands police force that they would carry out increased patrols through Honiara in the middle of the lockdown, protesters took to the streets again on Thursday.

Local media reported that many of the protesters were from Malaita, whose prime minister Daniel Suidani has disagreed with Sogavare since his decision to sever ties with Taiwan.

China expressed serious concern about attacks on certain Chinese citizens and institutions, without giving details.

“We believe that under the leadership of Prime Minister Sogavare, the Solomon Islands Government can restore social order and stability as soon as possible,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a daily briefing in Beijing.

He said that economic and other cooperation since the establishment of diplomatic relations had benefited both sides. “Any attempt to undermine the normal development of relations between China and Solomon is meaningless,” he said.

Suidani said he was not responsible for the violence in Honiara, but said so Solomon Star News that he agreed to the calls for Sogavare to resign.

“During the last 20 years Mannaseh Sogavare has been in power, the difficult situation of the people of Solomonö has worsened while foreigners have reaped the best of the country’s resources,” Suidani was quoted as saying. “People are not blind to this and do not want to be deceived anymore.”

Honiara journalist Elizabeth Osifelo said the cause of the chaos was a “mixture of a lot of frustration”.

– The change to China from Taiwan, it was also, I could say part of it, Osefelo says to ABC. “It’s probably not what triggered the situation, but it has also largely contributed to some of the tension we’ve experienced.”

AP with Reporter

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *