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Solomon Islands riots: Night-time curfew imposed

November 27, 2021 4:49 am
Photo: RNZ Pacific/Georgina Kekea

Sir David Vunagi says the curfew, which starts tonight, will go from 7pm to 6am and be repeated every day until it is revoked.

Sir David says it is a necessary measure for the preservation of public security.

Only authorised officers are allowed to move within the city during curfew hours and anyone found breaching the restrictions will be prosecuted.

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Rioting has been continuing in Honiara today, with reports protesters had set a building on fire behind the Prime Minister’s residence.

A protest on Wednesday calling for prime minister Manasseh Sogavare to stand down has lapsed into major unrest which local police have been unable to contain.

Dozens of Australian police have arrived in Honiara to help local forces. More forces including Australian Defence Force personnel are due to arrive later today.

Papua New Guinea security force personnel have also touched down in Honiara to support local police.

PNG’s Police Commissioner David Manning is leading the PNG security contingent of 35 police and corrections officers.

An Australian Navy vessel is also en route to the Solomon Islands.

Tension is high in front of Sogavare’s residence where more than a hundred protestors have been throwing rocks while police with riot shieds fire tear gas.

Australia’s Federal police officers are also visible in front of the Prime Minister’s residence.

RNZ Pacific correspondent Elizabeth Osifelo reported earlier that there are checkpoints set up around the city where the eastern part has been in flames.

“There’s a lot of tension still and especially a few metres around the prime minister’s residence. There’s a group of protesters and people around there.

“The police are still trying to push people back and there’s been tear gas fired,” she said.

There is no confirmation where Prime Minister Sogavare is at this time.

Elizabeth Osifelo add that households in the capital are facing likely food shortages after looting during the ongoing unrest.

She said the destruction is focused on the city’s east where many businesses have gone up in flames or been emptied.

“But as of yesterday, a lot of these little canteens that are located in the residential areas have also gone out of stock so a lot of families will definitely be affected if this holds up for another day or two.

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