Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands PM calls for calm after looting and protests

Prime minister Manasseh Sogavare said those behind yesterday's scenes of destruction in Honiara would be held accountable.

He gave a national address following the protests, which led to crowds breaching parliament's precinct and burnt a building next to the main chamber.

It was followed by looting and burning of properties in town, including a school and a police station.

Sogavare announced a full lockdown until Friday, and assured the public of their safety.

Buildings burned in looting after Solomon Islands protest

Videos on social media show police firing tear gas to disperse looters, and buildings on fire.

RNZ Pacific's correspondent in the capital Honiara, Georgina Kekea, was in the Kukum area where the police station and shops were set alight, and said at least one building had been burned down.

Police she spoke to said the large crowds had been at the other end of town, and officers had not expected the crowd to attack their police station.

Protesters take to the streets in Solomon Islands

RNZ Honiara correspondent Georgina Kekea said the protest was being led primarily by people from Malaita Province who said they were not being heard by the national government.

Most schools and businesses in the capital were closed today while large crowds clashed with police as they tried to access the grounds of parliament, where parliament's house is currently sitting.

"I think a lot of Honiara residents were caught by surprise with what has happened today. It has really disrupted operations... and now people are not feeling safe anymore," Kekea said.

Slow vax rates could see Solomons' borders closed until 2023

This was the warning from Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare this week as he reiterated the government's target of 90 percent vaccination coverage before reopening.

"By Friday of last week, only 44,613 people have completed their full vaccination, representing only 12 percent of the targeted 90 perecent coverage," Manasseh Sogavare said.

Mr Sogavare said this is despite 108,417 people having already had their first jabs.

Two men killed in separate crocodile attacks in Solomon Islands

Some people are calling for a crocodile cull to reduce numbers.

The deaths come less than a month after the country lifted a ban on harvesting the nocturnal marine animal, also called beche-de-mer, in a bid to boost is pandemic-hit economy.

Local police commander Joseph Maneluga said the beche-de-mer gold rush is attracting divers to crocodile-infested waters.

Customers in China and South-East Asian countries consider the dried sea cucumbers a delicacy and one kilogram can fetch up to 170 dollars in the Solomons.

 

 

Crunch time for no jab no job policy fast approaching in Solomon Islands

on half-pay from the 31st of October.

This was announced by the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare this week and will apply to any employee of the national or provincial governments as well as state owned enterprises.

Mr Sogavare said if by 1 January 2022 they still have not taken up the vaccine their employment will be terminated.

It is the strongest messaging yet to come from the government with so far only 6.4 percent of the eligible population full vaccinated against the virus.

Solomon Islands thrashed 6-0 by Morocco

The Kurukuru conceded three goals in each half against the African champions.

Soufiane El-Mesrar opened the scoring in just the second minute before Achraf Souad doubled their advantage a minutes later.

Idriss Raiss El-Fenni made it 3-0 close to half-time, while Bilal Bakkali, Otmane Boumezou and Soufiane Borite all found the back of the net in the second spell.

Solomon Islands, who are competing in their fourth consecutive World Cup, are back in action on Friday morning against Portugal, who outclassed Thailand 4-1 in the other Group C clash.

 

Peter Stewart appointed CEO of 2023 Pacific Games

The Australian-based administrator was CEO of the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby and has held several other positions in Papua New Guinea and at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.

He replaces Shalom Akao Waita, who was the first woman to lead a Pacific Games Organising Committee.

The former Solomon Islands netball and basketball representative was appointed in October but stood down earlier this year.

Solomons govt to conduct test lockdown of national capital

In a statement on Friday the government said the lockdown was necessary given the surge of the deadly COVID-19 delta variant globally.

It said this was especially important as the country prepares for a limited re-opening of incoming flights which have been suspended for weeks because of worsening delta outbreaks in neighbouring countries.

It said Cabinet has approved the trial of the revised Lock-down plan for the Honiara Emergency Zone through a 36-hour lockdown from 6pm on Sunday 29th August to 6am Tuesday 31 August 2021.

Five killed in Solomons as car ploughs into crowd

A statement from the Royal Solomon Islands police said a land cruiser was being chased by police outside the capital Honiara for driving dangerously.

The police said there were parked vehicles and a car on the main bridge, so the chased driver chose to use an old where a group was fundraising.

After ploughing into the crowd, the driver fled but has now been arrested.

The vehicle was later burnt down to ashes.