25 Apr 2019

Uneasy calm in Honiara after overnight unrest

11:07 am on 25 April 2019

There's an uneasy calm in Honiara this morning after overnight unrest which followed the election of the Solomon Islands prime minister

More than 30 people were arrested for participating in disturbances in the capital triggered by the election of Manasseh Sogavare by MPs.

Police said some members of the public took the law into their own hands and marched through Honiara, damaging property, fighting and throwing rocks.

Significant damage occurred at the Pacific Casino Hotel where Mr Sogavare and members of his Democratic Coalition for Advancement had been based.

Honiara-based journalist Dorothy Wickham said the unrest in east Honiara continued until the early hours of this morning.

"I think they faded away because the light was coming. There's a lot of people in hospital, mostly head and face injuries, from the rock throwing. Both civillians and police officers are in hospital."

"It quietened down around about 5am. I think everybody just got too tired to do anything more. It's quiet now but we don't know what will happen when dark comes again."

Ms Wickham said police riot squads used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds, and were able to keep those causing unrest out of the CBD.

But the situation in Honiara remains tense with most shops and businesses having closed.

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