Solomon Islands, violent revolt: the government imposes a curfew

Curfew in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, due to protests by demonstrators. A crowd of rioters tried to break into parliament, setting fire to a police station and some buildings. The agents, to stem them, responded with the launch of tear gas. It is unclear whether the protest was a failed coup attempt.

Australian intervention

Australia has announced that it will send peacekeeping military forces to the Solomon Islands. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this after two days of violent riots that threatened to overthrow the government of Honiara. “Our aim is to provide stability and security,” Morrison said, pointing out that he had received a request for help directly from the Prime Minister of the Manasseh Islands Sogavare.

“We will take those responsible”

To address the crisis, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare signed a 36-hour curfew order on the evening of 24 November. The leader addressed the country saying that “the investigative arm of the government is working to track down those responsible for the destruction, they will face the law, no one is above the law”.

Chinese concern

China has expressed “great concern” over the recent unrest in the Solomon Islands, particularly in the Chinatown of the capital Honiara. Beijing Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters: “We ask the government of the Islands to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and Chinese realities”.