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Solomon Islands leader blames violent anti-government protests on foreign interference

Comments come as Australian police and defence force personnel arrive in Honiara to help restore order

Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare has blamed foreign interference over his government’s decision to switch alliances from Taiwan to Beijing for anti-government protests, arson and looting that have ravaged the capital Honiara in recent days.

However, critics have also blamed the unrest on complaints of a lack of government services and accountability, corruption and foreign workers taking local job. In 2019, Sogavare also angered many, particularly leaders of Solomon Islands’ most populous province, Malaita, when he cut the country’s diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

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