What’s Next for the Solomon Islands, which have been ravaged by riots?
The Solomon Islands have been thrown into disarray after three days of riots, displaying broad dissatisfaction with inadequate living standards and exposing the government’s incapacity to enforce the rule of law.
So, where does the embattled South Pacific nation go from here?
Embattled Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare will hope that a night-time curfew and the presence of heavily armed Australian soldiers on the streets Friday would calm the restive city.
A deployment of roughly 100 Australian police and military officers, along with 34 Papua New Guinean counterparts, will assist the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, which has been severely weakened.
They were unable to contain the unrest despite years of foreign investment, failing to prevent the burning of two of their own stations and making only two arrests despite days of violence.
According to one local, they barely controlled 30% of the capital at the height of the rioting on Thursday, with the remainder effectively controlled by the crowd.
Canberra, weary of repeating a 14-year peacekeeping mission that concluded in 2017, has stated that they will only be there for a few weeks this time.
The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force will then confront a difficult task in regaining public trust and developing into an effective peacekeeping force.
Sogavare, who is 66 years old, has blamed the disturbance on “some groups” aiming to destabilize his government, citing resistance to his choice to woo Beijing and rupture ties with US ally Taiwan.
Others, on the other hand, pointed away from high politics and toward a much more urgent politics of the stomach.
On the acclaimed Devpolicy blog, analyst Transform Aqorau noted, “The Solomon Islands has been drifting to self-destruction.” “It is one of the world’s most aid-dependent countries.” According to World Bank data, 40% of the population is under the age of 14, and 70% is under the age of 30. Although there is no credible unemployment data, unemployment is widespread.
“People are starting to become hungry after almost two years of Covid-19 limitations. They’re ravenous “According to Douglas Kelson, head officer of the St John Ambulance Service in the county,
“Most people are only eating one meal a day” after two years without tourism, he said. “When people are hungry, they do things they wouldn’t typically do.” The cost of rebuilding burnt public buildings, offices, and other companies is uncertain, and it will simply add to the government’s already heavy burden. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.