[Editor’s note: This is the third in a three-part series on the Solomon Islands following the violence around the Honiara Crop Failure Conference in early December.]
The situation in the Solomon Islands is continuing to be tense following the deadly violence following the country’s annual crop failure conference in early December.
The Association of Ministry Officials and Heads of Departments has imposed a curfew in the capital of Honiara and in several other rural areas, preventing people from leaving in the early hours of the morning.
Violence broke out after security forces attempted to break up a meeting to discuss the health of crops across the country.
Crop failure and other problems associated with El Niño have left hundreds of thousands of subsistence farmers with nothing to eat.
While the curfew is still in place, there has been relative calm in Honiara following several days of violent protests which saw five people killed and at least four others injured in what Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare described as “a completely terrorist event.”
Violence has also spread to smaller cities and villages around the country.
The curfew will be in force from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily in the affected areas. The curfew has been in place from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The city of Temotu is only accessible to tourists, and temporary arrangements have been made to ferry tourists and local residents from there to Honiara.
Dozens of Government aircraft are also being used to try and ferry essential cargo supplies to the nation’s scattered rural communities.
The Prime Minister and Minister of Police have been working round the clock to restore law and order, and other law enforcement personnel have also been dispatched to assist in the policing of Honiara.