Anti-China riots erupt in the Solomon Islands as Australia sends in TROOPS
Australia will send troops to the Solomon Islands as the South Pacific nation descends into chaos following anti-China riots.
The Australian National Security Committee held crisis talks on Thursday afternoon after Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare asked the Australian Government for assistance under the 2017 bilateral security agreement.
Scott Morrison announced 23 Australian Federal Police officers are already on their way to support ‘riot control’ with a further 50 to be deployed to protect ‘critical infrastructure’.
In addition, 43 defence force personnel will also set to make the trip on Friday to support ‘critical infrastructure’ like the airport.
Scott Morrison (pictured) announced that Australia will send troops to the Solomon Islands as the South Pacific nation descends into chaos following anti-China riots
An angry mob were captured on video smashing windows and hurling projectiles at the Kukum Traffic Police station before some rioters entered the building and set it alight
People gather near Naha Police station as Solomon Islanders defied a government-imposed lockdown and protested in the capital, in Honiara, Solomon Islands, November 25, 2021
AUSTRALIAN TROOPS IN THE SOLOMON ISLANDS:
AFP sent 23 officers from the Specialist Response Group, plus 50 more.
– Their RAAF plane left from the Canberra on Thursday afternoon.
– A further 50 AFP officers will deploy on Friday.
ADF will send 43 personnel on Friday, all leaving from Townsville.
– About 30 from the 3rd Brigade.
– Medical personnel from the 17th Brigade.
– Military Police unit from the 6 Brigade.
– There will also be a also be a Hercules helicopter sent over loaded with equipment.
‘Our purpose here is to provide security and stability to enable the normal constitutional processes within the Solomon Islands to be able to deal with the various issues that have arisen,’ the Prime Minister said.
Protesters for a second day in the capital of Honiara demanded the resignation of the Mr Sogavare, voicing their concerns about Chinese influence in the country.
Shops and businesses in Chinatown have been targeted by rioters as well as government buildings and police stations.
An angry mob were captured on video smashing windows and hurling projectiles at the Kukum Traffic Police station before some rioters entered the building and set it alight.
Huge flames billowed from the building before a lone firefighter moved in to try and extinguish the blaze.
A 36-hour lockdown has been ordered in Honiara to quell the civil unrest, but so far it has had little effect with similar scenes breaking out all over the right across the captial.
‘The situation remains volatile with reasonably large crowds on the move. The Royal Solomon Islands Police force has been stretched,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘We have received reports of more buildings burning on the main road in the centre of Honiara including a large commercial building and a bank branch.’
A fireman walks past a burning hardware store, during protests against the government in Honiara, Solomon Islands, November 24, 2021,
Smoke is seen coming from a burning store in Honiara, Solomon Islands, November 24, 2021