The calm returns as the clean-up begins in the Solomon Islands media

MELBOURNE, Nov. 28 (Reuters) – Soldiers and police from Australia and Papua New Guinea helped restore calm in the Solomon Islands as clean-up operations began, after several days of riots left three dead and led to dozens of arrests, local media reported.

The newspaper Solomon Star said Australian soldiers and police and troops from Papua New Guinea had helped restore normalcy in the country’s capital Honiara and stop looting, riots and the burning of buildings and shops.

During the night, clean-up operations began in earnest in areas particularly hard hit, including the city of Chinatown, the newspaper said. Footage obtained by Reuters showed heavy machinery moving rubble from burned-out stores.

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Destroyed building is depicted after days of unrest in Honiara, Solomon Islands on November 27, 2021 in this still image taken from a video. Jone Tuiipelehaki / via REUTERS

Three charred corpses were discovered in a store on Friday in the Chinatown district, an area targeted by protesters who were still angry with the government in 2019, ending diplomatic relations with Taiwan to establish formal relations with China. Read more

More Australian federal police would arrive in the South Pacific on Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told a televised press conference.

“Even though things are very unstable at this point … we know that plans are being made to ensure that there can be calm,” he said.

About 50 officers from the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary arrived in Honiara on Friday, a day after Australia sent its own forces to the capital, both in response to requests from the Solomon Islands government for help.

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Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing Tom Hogue

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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