New Zealand to send troops to Solomons

AAPDeutsche Presse Agentur
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Solomon Islands government requested help.
Camera IconNew Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Solomon Islands government requested help. Credit: AP

New Zealand will send members of its security forces to help contain unrest in the Solomon Islands, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.

Members of the New Zealand Defence Force and the police will be sent to the capital Honiara to help restore peace and stability, Ms Ardern says.

Peaceful protests calling for the removal of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare spiralled into riots in Honiara in late November.

"We are deeply concerned by the recent civil unrest and rioting in Honiara, and following yesterday's request of the Solomon Islands Government, we have moved quickly to provide urgent assistance to help restore sustained peace and security," Ms Ardern said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Every deployment brings its risks and challenges, but our people have vast experience in the Pacific region and are amongst some of the most highly skilled when it comes to de-escalating conflict."

New Zealand's contingent will work to support the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, and also alongside counterparts from Australia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Fifteen New Zealand personnel will deploy on Thursday, followed by a larger group of up to 50 defence force and police at the weekend.

Police Minister Poto Williams said New Zealand police had a long-standing partnership with the Solomon Islands, and has had a presence in Honiara for a number of years.

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