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Solomon Islands Prime Minister Refuses to Resign Over Riots, Vows to Find 'Instigators' of Unrest

© REUTERS / STRINGERPeople stand amid debris in front of a burned-out building after days of unrest in Honiara, Solomon Islands November 26, 2021.
People stand amid debris in front of a burned-out building after days of unrest in Honiara, Solomon Islands November 26, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.11.2021
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The violent protests were quelled by Sunday with help that local law enforcement received from police from the nearby Papua New Guinea and Australia. The riots resulted in the deaths of at least three, whose charred bodies were extracted from buildings that were set on fire by the protesters.
Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare has condemned the actions of a few unidentified "instigators" for the riots that gripped the Pacific island nation's capital this week. He said the riots were orchestrated by a small group of people with the goal of forcing him to resign. Sogavare vowed not to give in to these efforts.

"It is very clear that the recent events were well planned and orchestrated to remove me as the prime minister for unsubstantiated reasons. 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".

Manasseh Sogavare
Prime Minister
The PM further assured that arrests of those responsible for spreading false information to instigate violence were already being made, and promised that more would come once an investigation into the origin of the riots is complete.
"We must and will never bow down to the evil intention of a few people. 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".
Manasseh Sogavare
Prime Minister
The protesters accused the government of the Solomon Islands of corruption and of being effectively controlled by foreign interests, specifically by China. In 2019, the government cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan in order to establish them with Beijing, something that was seen by some citizens as giving in to its pressure or cash incentives. The riots mostly targeted the Chinatown part of the capital – Honiara – with protesters looting, ransacking, and setting on fire many local businesses operated by Chinese people.
The bodies of at least three people have already been found in the ruins of buildings that were set ablaze. Sogavare said the riots had resulted in $25 million in damages to local businesses, promising to provide an aid package for their restoration.
Smoke rises from burning buildings in Chinatown of Solomon Islands' capital Honiara, Solomon Islands, November 25, 2021 in this picture obtained from a social media video. @Zfm Radio My Favourite Music Station via REUTERS   - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.11.2021
Solomon Islands Gripped by Anti-China Protests as US Keeps Largely Mum
The violent protests had effectively been quelled by 28 November, although not without outside help. Police departments from the nearby Papua New Guinea and Australia lent a hand to the Solomon Islands in order to restore peace there. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised to send additional Federal Police to the islands to "ensure there can be calm".
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