Protests in the Solomon Islands: officials must stay home as violent protests in Honiara continue for third day

Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, is hit due to civil unrest since Wednesday, with protests, looting and fires of shops and companies. Defying an earlier 36-hour curfew, thousands of protesters have come out calling on the street for The resignation of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

The new curfew will last daily from 7 pm to 6 am, valid from Friday. “During the period, only authorized officers may: move within the city,” An government statement said.

There are no security forces in managed to stop the protests in Honiara, die call on the government to respect the rights of self-determination of the Malaita people, to limit tires with China, and to resume development projects in province of Malaita — home to the most populous island in the country.

A spokesman for the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) told CNN by phone on Friday fire trucks had been sent to Sogavare’s home as a precaution and protesters had moved out of the city’s Chinatown district, where the violence had previously been concentrated.

On Friday the central is government advised everyone public servants to stay home through the turmoil, with the exception of key workers, and encouraged staff to ensure they had food supplies “because of the uncertainty” of the current situation.” On Thursday, a local journalist said the fires were blazing in Chinatown, and the police had lost control in eastern Honiara.

flames rise of buildings in Honiara's Chinatown on November 26, next days of unrest
Australia has sent the police and military troops to the Pacific island nation to help restrain the turmoil after receiving a formal request from the government under a bilateral security agreement for help and om support the RSIPF.

Jone Tuiipelehaki, and development consultant in Honiara, said Chinatown saw something… of the worst of the violence.

“Even during the lockdown period, we saw people looting and burglaries in shopping centres in the East side of Honiara, but also in Chinatown especially, (die) received the full brutal of the violent protesters because they burned down a lot of the shops in Which area,” he said.

Tuiipelehaki said it was hard to interpret of people were looting because they saw an opportunity of if their actions were part of a sincere protest.

“There is a lot of young people who are involved in looting and breaking in in the shops’ he said, adding that he saw… young men and women hack in An shop sell alcohol.

“Even while we’re talking now, I can see people run out tote bags of rice, and cans and boxes of canned fish,” he said.

Lisa Cuatt, land of the Solomon Islands director for save the kids in Honiara, said the situation had calmed down by evening local time, but the looting and rioting had continued throughout Friday.

“It’s been a very disturbing couple of days. People are scared for their safety. Most of the violence has targeted buildings, but if you target infrastructure, you are targeting peopleslivelihood. Families and children losses out in that scenario,” she said, adding that one of the big buildings destroyed was a high school in the capital, during exam week.

“There is no money left in the ATMs, the shops are closed, families and children go without food because it’s hard of is unsafe to access it at this point,” Cuatt said.

Australian Federal Police Special Operations Officers Prepare Their equipment before departure from Canberra to the capital of the Solomon Islands of Honiara on November 25th.

Prime Minister Sogavare has refused to give in to the demands of protesters, saying: in An public address posted in local media on Thursday, “If I am removed as prime minister it will be on the floor of Parliament.”

A lot of of the protesters have come from the neighboring province of Malaita to express their dismay with the Sogavare government and its treatment of An range of domestic problems, including a lack of of development and unrealized infrastructure promises.

“The events illustrate the sentence of exclusion of a lot of development in Honiara and Guadalcanal die arising from retail, mining, logging and in increasingly the construction sector die is dominated by companies and workers from Asia,” said Anouk Ride, a researcher on staff, development, conflict and social inclusion, writing on The Interpreter of the Lowy Institute website.
Prime Minister Sogavare, however, blamed unnamed foreign powers for encourage the unrest, according to to an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Cooperation.
Smoke rises from burntout buildings in Honiara's Chinatown on Nov 26.

Malaita province opposed central Solomon government’s decision in 2019 to sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan and entering into a formal relationship with China.

“Sorry for mine people in Malaita because they are fed with false and deliberate lies over the switchSogavare reportedly said.

“this very” countries die Influencing Malaita now are the countries not that want tyres with the People’s Republic of China and they discourage the Solomon Islands from establishing and obeying diplomatic relations with international law and United Nations resolution.

China has said it is “serious” concerned” over what it said were attacks on Chinese burgers and companies in Honiara, on Thursday. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian said authorities have “asked the local authorities”. government to take all measures die are needed to safety of Chinese Citizens and Institutions.”

“We are convinced that under Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s leadership, the… government of Solomon Islands can recover social order and stability soon’ said Zhao.

This province in the pacific is so frustrated with China's presence die it pushes for independence

The Solomon Islands were one of a handfull of countries die had diplomatic relations with the democratic self-governed island of Taiwan but in 2019, the archipelago traded loyalty for China. Beijing considers Taiwan part of China, and refuses to maintain diplomatic relations with any country that does not recognize its “One China Policy”.

Zhao stressed that the one China policy is “a basic norm reigning international relations” and since the Solomon Islands established diplomatic ties with China, “have enjoyed bilateral relations” sound development with fruitful results.”

“All attempts to disrupt the normal development of relations between China and the Solomon Islands are: just meaningless,” he said.

Additional reporting by CNN’s Pauline Lockwood and Reuters.

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