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Australia deploys troops to Solomon Islands amid protests

Smoke rises from burning buildings in the Solomon Islands capital city of Honiara. Associated Press/Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Australia deploys troops to Solomon Islands amid protests

Australia on Thursday sent police, defense forces, and diplomats to help authorities in the Solomon Islands quell violent protests. Protesters breached the National Parliament building, burned a police station, looted stores, and set fire to several other buildings. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare requested assistance under a bilateral security treaty.

What caused the unrest? The protests began Wednesday in the capital city of Honiara as protesters demanded Sogavare’s resignation over several domestic issues. He has not responded to a citizen petition filed in August asking the government to resume infrastructure projects, limit growing ties with China, and respect the self-determination rights of Malaita, the island nation’s most populous province. The prime minister in 2019 switched diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China. Protesters this week looted stores and burned several buildings in Honiara’s Chinatown.

Dig deeper: Listen to Angela Lu Fulton’s WORLD report on China’s military exercises in Taiwan.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD’s Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University–Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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Rather than just "protestors", it would be better to include that Matthew Wale, the Solomon Islands parliamentary Leader of Opposition [I believe that is an elected position - not self-assigned as in some other countries], has called for Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to step down. I understand [from first hand observation by my close friend] Mr. Wale to be an honorable man . In an ABC/Australia 11/26/2021 interview he disclaims any responsibility for the current violence. He does, in the same interview, provide historical context to the leadership situation in the country. I hope WORLD will follow-up with expanded coverage of this country where so many people have labored to bring the Word of God to His beloved people