Solomon Islands extends curfew in aftermath of deadly protests

Updated The Solomon Islands Government has confirmed it is considering whether to extend a 24-hour curfew that began on Monday night, after days of deadly protests left at least six people dead and at…

Solomon Islands extends curfew in aftermath of deadly protests

Updated

The Solomon Islands Government has confirmed it is considering whether to extend a 24-hour curfew that began on Monday night, after days of deadly protests left at least six people dead and at least 25 injured.

The Solomon Islands Government has confirmed it is considering whether to extend a 24-hour curfew that began on Monday night, after days of deadly protests left at least six people dead and at least 25 injured.

Hundreds of soldiers have massed in riot-hit Honiara for a third day, as a temporary three-day ban on outdoor activities remains in place.

Authorities closed off thousands of homes and businesses for 24 hours starting at midnight on Monday following a night of violence in the capital.

The curfew continued into Wednesday night, despite concerns the growing number of violent protestors could turn violent again.

A spokesman for the Solomon Islands Government said the Ministry of Defence was due to consider whether to extend the curfew later on Wednesday.

Solomon Islands prime minister Rick Hou promised Monday night the curfew would be extended for 24 hours as a security measure.

Mr Hou, whose embattled regime has been the target of vicious protests over recent days, said two schools, many shops and restaurants had been looted or destroyed in the unrest.

The violence began in Honiara on Friday after the government announced a parliamentary debate would proceed unopposed over a planned vote of no confidence.

On Monday, it followed through on its threat to block parliament, after waiting for weeks to push the vote through amid claims the prime minister was not taking the country’s problems seriously.

The march led to days of violence across Honiara, in which at least three people were killed, and the government says gunfire between protesters and security forces killed two more.

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Mr Hou announced in a radio address early on Wednesday morning that state forces would remain in temporary position in some of the city’s poorer neighbourhoods.

Solomon Islanders, long accustomed to unrest, have expressed their frustration at government mismanagement and disregard for life and property.

The violence is the latest in a series of challenges for Mr Hou, who became prime minister last November.

Topics: unrest-conflict-and-war, police, government-and-politics, solomon-islands, pacific

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