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Australia’s military to aid in Solomon Islands unrest

Australia is deploying more than a hundred police and military personnel to the Solomon Islands, amid violent unrest there. Protesters in the capital Honiara defied a government-imposed lockdown on Thursday and took to the streets for a second day in a row.Buildings were set ablaze while many stores were reportedly looted. Video obtained by Reuters showed people hurling objects on the streets.Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the island’s leader had requested Canberra’s assistance which was quickly approved. Those deployed will assist in riot control and 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 various issues that have arisen. And that be done in a climate of peace, stability and security. 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.”Video obtained by Reuters also the capital’s Chinatown district being targeted. Many of the protesters hail from the province of Malaita, which has clashed with the government over its decision to cut ties with Taiwan two years ago while establishing formal ties with China. Malaita, the country’s most populous island, had rejected the change in diplomatic ties, instead aligning itself with the United States and calling for its own independence.The national government however has dismissed those calls.Both Beijing and Washington have sought Pacific allies in order to amass influence in the region.

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