Sumary of Australia to deploy police, military to Solomon Islands as protests spread:
- SYDNEY/CANBERRA (Reuters) -Australia will deploy more than 100 police and military personnel to aid the Solomon Islands, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday, as protesters in the Pacific Island nation defied a curfew to protest for a second consecutive day.
- Morrison said Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare had requested Australian assistance, which Canberra’s national security committee quickly approved.
- Australia will send 23 police officers immediately to assist with riot control, Morrison said, with a further 50 personnel to enforce security at critical infrastructure.
- “Our purpose here is to provide stability and security to enable the normal constitutional processes, within the Solomon Islands, to be able to deal with the various issues that have arisen,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
- “It is not the Australian government’s intention in any way to intervene in the internal affairs of the Solomon Islands, that is for them to resolve.
- Many protesters travelled from the most populous province Malaita to the capital because of concern about being overlooked by the national government, according to media reports.
- The province opposed a 2019 decision to end diplomatic ties with Taiwan and establish formal links with China, resulting in an independence referendum last year which the national government has dismissed as illegitimate.