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Police charge Solomons opposition figure over riots

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HONIARA: Police within the restive Solomon Islands on Tuesday charged a number one member of the opposition over lethal riots that rocked the nation final month, as allies known as the transfer politically motivated.

United Social gathering president John Kwaita was arrested by armed police at his dwelling late on Monday and charged with holding an illegal public meeting, in breach of emergency Covid-19 guidelines.

“Police have launched the suspect on bail,” a police spokesperson informed AFP, including the suspect “will seem earlier than Honiara Central Justice of the Peace (in) February of 2022.” Late final month anti-government protests sparked widespread looting and arson within the capital Honiara, inflicting US$67 million price of injury and leaving the town’s Chinatown district in ruins.

Not less than three individuals died within the violence, which additionally precipitated the snap deployment of round 200 peacekeepers from Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. The protests have been sparked by opposition to veteran Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, who’s eager to forge nearer ties with Beijing.

His rule is opposed by the leaders of Malaita — the Solomons’ most populous island — who need extra independence and favour ties with Taiwan. Kwaita is from Malaita and his United Social gathering’s two members of parliament had backed a failed vote of no confidence towards Sogavare earlier this month.

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