Saturday, August 13

Solomons PM warns capital rioters ‘will face consequences’


Protesters set buildings in the Solomon Islands’ capital alight and attempted to storm the parliament on Wednesday. – Handout/AFP photo

HONIARA: Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has vowed to track down rioters who attempted to storm parliament, as the Pacific island nation’s capital Honiara remained under lockdown Thursday following the unrest.

Hundreds of people demanding Sogavare’s resignation marched on parliament Thursday, burning down a thatched hut near the legislature before moving on Honiara’s Chinatown, torching a police station and looting shops before police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Sogavare ordered an immediate curfew across Honiara, describing the unrest as a “sad and unfortunate event aimed at bringing a democratically elected government down”.

“The 36-hour lockdown will allow law enforcement agencies to fully investigate the perpetrators of the events today and to prevent further lawless destruction of property,” he said in a statement released late Wednesday.

The violence reportedly involved a group of protesters who travelled to Honiara this week from the neighbouring island of Malaita. – AFP