Three people found dead after riots in New Zealand’s Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands police have confirmed that three people were found dead after setting fire to a town and sparking riots in the country’s capital, Honiara. “Our investigation at this point in time is proving futile and proves disappointing. The police will continue to keep an eye on events and updates will be made in due course,” a police statement said. There were also reports of gunshots and the dynamiting of a police car, according to reports. Law enforcement officials said they don’t know why the fire was set, nor did they have any suspects. But Police Commissioner Moses Winston Farkuba told reporters, “Our priority right now is making sure the people are protected and the community is respected. That’s our only priority.”

Solomon Islands is frequently among the countries most under-reported in the world because its government is run by the opposition party. The country’s violence and chaos have intensified since 2013 when then-Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was overthrown by opposition leader, Derek Sikua. “Politicians don’t like the violence. Every single politician in the country is proud of the country’s independence from the British Crown,” Sikua told NME in September of 2017.

There were also demonstrations against Sikua, who claimed he received death threats from police. The following month, Sikua fired Farkuba as police commissioner. According to Global Times, Sogavare “expelled” Farkuba after calling him a “mouthpiece” for Sikua. On Monday, Farkuba claimed his dismissal had nothing to do with the violent protests and that “the government does not have legal grounds to dismiss me.”

This is just the latest violence in the Pacific nation. In February of last year, six people were killed in a gunfight and 300 buildings were destroyed in a similar protest.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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