Fires, looting, riots: what is going on in the Solomon Islands?

The Solomon Islands, in the Pacific, have been shaken since Wednesday, November 24, by violent demonstrations.Relations between this archipelago located in the north of Australia and China are in question.

Wednesday, a crowd of opponents of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare stormed the Parliament in Honiara, the capital, and set fire to several buildings including a police station.The police have used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

Despite the imposition of a curfew, new riots struck Honiara this Thursday.The police were targeted, just like the Chinese district of the capital, where businesses were looted.

The Australian neighbor has announced the deployment of a peacekeeping force to "ensure stability and security", at the request of the Government of the Salomon Islands according to Canberra.

A diplomatic turning point that displeases

Incendies, pillages, émeutes : que se passe-t-il aux Îles Salomon ?

The authors of violence would be demonstrators from the neighboring island of Malaita to protest against the decision of the government of the archipelago in 2019 to transfer its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to mainland China.

Since 1983, the Solomon Islands recognize Taiwan as the legitimate representative of China and many inhabitants of Malaita have narrow relations with Taipei, the capital.But in recent months, the government of Malaita has regularly criticized Honiara for getting closer to Beijing.

China expressed this "big concern" this Thursday and asked the archipelago government to "take all the necessary measures to ensure the safety of Chinese nationals and Chinese entities".

Sur le même sujetInternationalCrise des sous-marins : l'Australie signe un accord avec les Etats-Unis et le Royaume-Uni

The Solomon Islands, independent of Great Britain since 1978, are regularly the scene of violence.Between 2003 and 2017, inter-ethnic conflicts had caused dozens of deaths and led to the deployment of an international peacekeeping mission.

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