Solomon Islands Seeks Defense Protection From Australia After Crowds Break Into Public Violence
Solomon Islands– Solomon Islands were received by Australian defense personnel as violence continued there for the second day. This has happened despite a 36-hour lockdown that has been impose on the islands.
Host of issues bombarded into street protests. A time bomb ticking seemed to have been let off, as demonstrators from the country’s most populous island, Malaita, took to streets protesting. The spillover of anger ranged from domestic issues including unrealized infrastructure promises to the decision to cut ties with Taiwan and shake hands with China. While this has been forced on them, the population isn’t happy about it.
In the end, the whole crowd was demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogevare. The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) said between 2,000 and 3,000 protesters took to the streets, with some setting fire to buildings and looting stores in the eastern part of Honiara. Some 36 people have been arrested too. Police had to restore to use of tear gas.
Protest erupted as the parliament decided to resume over the PM’s lack of response to a citizen petition filed in August 2021. This included demands for the government to respect the rights of self-determination of the Malaita people, to limit ties with China and to resume development projects in Malaita.
Australia sent off defense personnel with the hope of reinstating ‘peace and stability’. Australian PM Scott Morrison said to the media that, he was acting under a formal request he had received, under a bilateral security agreement for assistance and to support the RSIPF. Australia agreed to send in 23 AFP personnel to support riot control and up to 50 more to support security at critical infrastructure, he said. An additional 43 Australian Defense Force members will also be deployed.