After protests turn violent, Solomon Islands goes into a 36-hour lockdown

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogare requested the lockdown during an address that was broadcast on Wednesday evening. The order came after police used tear gas to quell protests.

According to media reports, people from Malaita (the country’s most populous) had visited the capital as a result of their anger over a range of domestic issues, including unrealized infrastructure promises.

Sogavare stated, “Our nation witnessed another tragic and unfortunate event aimed to bring down a democratically elected Government.”

“I honestly believed that we had passed the darkest days of the country’s history, but today’s events remind me that we still have a lot to go.”

He said that a lockdown in Honiara would be in effect until Friday morning at 7 a.m. local time. “This will allow our law enforcement agencies, to fully investigate and prevent further lawless destruction.”

Demonstrators also looted stores and set fire to a thatched-roof building on the Parliament grounds — where it was sitting — and a station for police, according to the Prime Minister.

Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), urged Honiara residents to not go to schools or work around the area to avoid unrest.

Juanita Matanga (RSIPF deputy commissioner) stated in a statement that “we want to make certain that our streets schools and businesses reopen soon after this lockdown.”

“I need your help until the situation becomes normal.”