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Riot-hit Solomons begins clean-up as more foreign troops arrive

November 30, 2021 8:51 am

The prime minister of the riot-hit Solomon Islands vowed on Sunday to defy pressure to resign, saying violence that swept the capital had been orchestrated by a few people with “evil intention” to topple him.

“It is very clear that the recent events were well planned and orchestrated to remove me as the prime minister for unsubstantiated reasons,” Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said in an address broadcast to the Pacific island nation.

“I want to show the nation that the government is fully intent and nothing will move us. We must and will never bow down to the evil intention of a few people,” Sogavare said.

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Sogavare previously blamed the three days of violence — during which rioters incinerated swathes of the capital Honiara before the unrest died down at the weekend — on an unscrupulous few leading others astray with false information.

“We must stand up to intimidation, bullying and violence. We owe this to our children and the majority of our people who cannot defend themselves,” he said.

Sogavare said the violence, centred on the capital’s Chinatown, had caused 200 million Solomon Islander dollars ($25m) in damage and destroyed 1,000 jobs in an economy already squeezed by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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