Solomon Islands

Solomons police investigating armed threat on the capital

Responding to local media reports of a group threatening to "unleash a second wave" on the already damaged city police commissioner Mostyn Mangau said investigations were already underway and that the threat is being treated as a matter of national security.

"Police will not tolerate any armed groups or criminals who are taking the opportunity to plan their crimes to threaten the sovereignty of this nation."

Late last month political unrest descended into three days of looting and burning on the streets of the capital causing over $SBD500 million worth of damage.

New Zealand quietly deploys navy ship to Solomon Islands

The decision to deploy the HMNZS Wellington to the mission was not formally announced by the Government or the Defence Force.

The armed offshore patrol vessel left the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland just before 7:30pm on Monday with a crew of 80 and a Seasprite helicopter on board.

A Defence Force spokesman said it would arrive in the waters of the Solomons later in the week, where it would take over patrolling from an Australian ship.

Solomon Islands: Sogavare defeats no confidence motion

It was moved by the leader of the opposition Matthew Wale after major political unrest in the capital last month saw three days of rioting, looting and burning of businesses and properties in Honiara.

During the debate on the motion Mr Wale made multiple allegations of corruption against the prime minister, accusing Mr Sogavare of using money from foreign loggers and China to secure his support in the house.

In response Mr Sogavare challenged him to prove them in court.

Chinese families 'have lost everything' says Solomons group

A protest last Wednesday calling for Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to step down lapsed into major unrest and three days of rioting.

The Solomon Islands Chinese Association (SICA) has condemned the events which it says has endangered innocent lives.

SICA is encouraging all Chinese owned and operated businesses to continue operating in an ethical and fair manner; respecting and abiding by the laws of the country.

It said the Chinese community remains confident in a brighter Solomon Islands despite the violence, which it blamed on a small minority.

Over 100 arrested for riot and looting in Honiara

“I must make it very clear here that no one is above the law,” Commissioner Mostyn Mangau said.

Mr Mangau added “We are expected to live and make decisions within the principles of the rule of law regardless of our positions in our society. I therefore forewarned that if anybody is found in breach of such illegal activities, Police will not hesitate to arrest and deal with him/her.”

Bodies discovered in burnt out building in Honiara

A protest on Wednesday calling for the Solomons Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to step down lapsed into major unrest and three days of rioting.

A police forensic team are on the ground and investigations are underway.

A spokesperson said they are yet to confirm the identities of the bodies.

Local reports say the remains are of some of the looters trapped inside the building.

Most of the rioting and looting took place in Chinatown, and RNZ Pacific correspondent there said only six buildings are left standing.

 

Photo RNZ Pacific 

Food, fuel and cash in short supply after days of riots shut down Honiara

Businesses, schools and even the Prime Minister's residence were set alight and looted by protesters during three straight days of civil unrest.

Now people are struggling to restock food supplies, and there are queues at ATMs and petrol stations as the extent of the crisis begins to take its toll.

Unrest broke out on Wednesday when a peaceful protest calling on Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to step down turned violent and quickly spiralled out of control of the local police.

Solomon Islands riots: Torched buildings in Honiara's Chinatown still burn

RNZ Pacific correspondent Georgina Kekea said the government curfew ended this morning at 7am local time, and people are now milling around.

Some people are continuing to loot the shops.

Kekea said the rioters have stolen a lot of alcohol.

RNZ Pacific correspondent Elizabeth Osifelo said the destruction is focused on the city's east.

"Chinatown has now been badly affected and also the industrial area in Honiara, that has also been affected. A lot of local businesses have also gone up in flames," she said.

Australia sends troops and police to Solomon Islands as unrest grows

The Australian government said the deployment would support “riot control” and security at critical infrastructure, a day after demonstrators attempted to storm parliament and topple the prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare.

 

Canberra said the move was in response to a request from Sogavare under an existing security agreement between the two countries, and should not be seen as taking a position in Solomon Islands’ internal affairs.

 

Solomons police overrun, Australia deploying support personnel

RNZ Pacific correspondent in Honiara, Elizabeth Osifelo, said exhausted police were overwhelmed as more people swarmed into town in defiance of a 36-hour lockdown.

Shops in Chinatown which had survived the earlier unrest were ransacked and burned. On the eastern side of town the Ranadi branch of Bank South Pacific was torched as was locally owned and operated hardware store, Island Enterprise.

Osifelo said police were doing everything they could to try and get control of the situation but they were outnumbered.