CM – Solomon Islands capital under curfew after protesters attacked parliament




HONIARA: The capital Honiara of the Solomon Islands was put under curfew on Wednesday (November 24th) after protesters tried to storm the parliament of the Pacific island nation, the police said.

The police fired tear gas the protesters who set fire to buildings and partially burned down a police station and a hut near the parliament building, said a police spokesman overthrow.

« A crowd formed in front of Parliament, I don’t know the exact numbers, but it was a huge crowd, » he told AFP.

« You wanted to force the Prime Minister to resign, that is the public speculation, but we are still investigating the motives.

« The most important thing is that the police are now in control of the situation and that no one is in the street It’s. « 

Video footage captured by onlookers showed police officers and protesters facing each other along a street and columns of smoke rising from burned-down buildings.

 » There were hundreds and hundreds on the street … and their main target was to get the (Premier) to resign.

« It was a frightening situation and it is still tense. People don’t know what’s going to happen right now and the police are trying to keep everything quiet. « 

Canberra’s official Smart Traveler advisory service warned Australian nationals to be vigilant in the Solomon capital.

 » The Situation in Honiara develops with civil unrest. Please be careful, stay where you are if it is safe to do so and avoid crowds, « it said.

The violence reportedly involved a group of protesters who moved from the neighboring island of Malaita to Honiara this week Their grievances are believed to stem from perceived neglect by the central government and persistent dissatisfaction with the Solomon Islands’ decision to shift diplomatic loyalties from Taiwan to China in 2019.

Many communities in Malaita had forged deep ties with Taipei and the island’s local government has repeatedly complained about the adoption of China.

Such tensions between the islands sparked unrest that led to the deployment of an Australian-led peacekeeping force from 2003 to 2017.

After the general election in 2006, riots broke out in which much of Honiara’s Chinatown was destroyed rt was raised amid rumors that Beijing-affiliated companies had rigged the vote.

Honiara-based Malaita lawmakers issued a statement this week calling on protesters from their home island to refrain from violence .

« The devastating consequences such actions will have on our people and the future will move this country back 20 years, » it said.

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