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Australia deploys ADF troops, federal police officers to help alleviate the anxiety of Solomon Islands citizens

Two Australian Defense Force flights will be deployed on Thursday night, with the third departing on Friday.

Australia’s response will be expanded as needed.

All Australian High Commissioners and locally engaged staff are described, but the exact number of citizens is not yet known.

Australia dispatches troops to Solomon Islands in protest

This decision was made after Mr. Sogavale asked for help from Mr. Morrison on Thursday.

“Our purpose here is to provide stability and security to address the problems that have arisen in the normal constitutional process within the Solomon Islands,” Morrison told Canberra reporters. Told.

“It is not the intention of the Australian Government to intervene in the internal affairs of the Solomon Islands.”

Australian officers will carry deadly and non-lethal weapons “mainly, but not exclusively, for the purpose of protecting troops,” Morrison added.

Buildings in the capital’s Chinatown area were set on fire on Thursday as protests and riots spilled onto the street on the second day.

Local radio station ZFM recorded a video on the social media of the building on fire on Thursday afternoon, attended by numerous protesters surrounding the area.

Hundreds of protesters in support of the Malaita region, who refused to admit China, gathered outside the Capitol building on Wednesday demanding the resignation of the prime minister.

Local media reported that the protests became violent when a large crowd rushed to the parliamentary grounds before police responded with tear gas to disperse the protesters. The leaf hut next to the Parliament building was on fire.

Honiara High School burning on Wednesday night

sauce: Facebook

Herald, Solomon Islands, said the protesters moved towards Chinatown and after protesters damaged Chinese stores, they moved to the Chinese embassy building.

Kukum and Naha police stations were also damaged.

Authorities responded by imposing a 36-hour blockade on Honiara residents who were set to lift at 7 am on Friday.

“Police will continue to provide high visibility tonight, tomorrow, and beyond to ensure that our city remains calm and peaceful,” said Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary of the Royal Solomon Islands. Juanita Matanga said.

Freelance journalist Georgia Kekea said the blockade did not stop the protesters.

“I think they’re heading for CBD right now,” she told SBS News.

“Mobs, looters, they’re still there. They burned down the school last night. A few more buildings.”

Damage to Honiara High School

sauce: ZFM / Facebook

On Wednesday night, Honiara High School burned and a bullet was heard on a social media post.

Charlie, a school student, said the extent of the damage was angry with witnesses.

“There is a lot of damage to the school building, especially the most. [damaged] One is the IT lab … it’s very sad to see it as a student, “he told local radio station ZFM.

“For me as a school leader [this] Made me cry last night. “

Prime Minister Sogavale said the “sad and unfortunate” event was aimed at “defeating a democratically elected government.”

He described the rally as illegal and accused the protesters.

“They were keen to destroy our country and the trust slowly built among our people,” he said in a national speech.

He also vowed to crack down on the protesters, saying the government’s investigative department was “in the advanced stage” to track them down.

“I honestly thought it was past the darkest days in our country’s history, but today’s event reminds us that we still have a long way to go. . “

Anxiety is believed to be related to the government’s decision to switch loyalty from Taiwan to China in 2019, among other issues regarding social inequality.

Protests have been linked to long-standing sentiment about the lack of economic development in Malaita Province.

State leader Daniel Suidani has most vocally criticized the government’s move to approve China and has chosen to maintain state relations with Taiwan.

Mihai Sora, a researcher at the Lowy Institute and a former Australian diplomat in Honiara, said the protests were triggered by a “useless conflict recipe” that mixes state conflicts, modern domestic political issues, and geopolitical competition for influence. Said it was. Pacific.

“This story and decision of a non-contact central government that does not represent the will of the people of the state was captured by a decade-long separatist movement in Malaita, a group seeking state independence from the Solomon Islands.” He said. SBS news.

“This is linked to the geopolitical importance of the Solomon Islands’ switch from Taiwan to China and recognition, which has aroused the very genuine complaints that the Malaita people may have.”

He said the competition between Taiwan and China for influence is involved in domestic affairs.

“The Solomon Islands already bear a very heavy burden to deal with the legacy of conflict, demographic indicators of youth swelling, high unemployment rates, long-term financial difficulties due to extended COVID periods, and the resentment of the surrounding communities. It is a country that bears. An emergency declared by the Prime Minister.

“It all boils together.”

The Foreign Ministry’s Smart Traveler issued a warning on Wednesday.

“In Honiara, the situation is getting worse with the anxiety of the public. Keep it safe, avoid congestion, stay in a safe place and pay attention,” he said.

The Federal Cabinet’s commissar of state security will meet this afternoon to discuss ongoing concerns.

Cabinet Minister Michaelia Cash told SBS News that the Australian government is “eagerly” monitoring the situation.

There are additional reports by AAP.

Australia deploys ADF troops, federal police officers to help alleviate the anxiety of Solomon Islands citizens

Source link Australia deploys ADF troops, federal police officers to help alleviate the anxiety of Solomon Islands citizens

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