World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


SOLOMON IS: PM agrees to resign in 'copy-cat' coup

See updates and pictures: and:

Have your say:

* See Nius item 2755

By Harry Aurere

SUVA: Solomon Islands Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu has today agreed to resign in what is being described as a "copy-cat coup" following the two-week-old Fiji insurrection, according to reports reaching here.

Mediator Andrew Nori, a prominent lawyer, said the priority of the upheaval had been to seek the prime minister's voluntary resignation, reports the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.

He said the armed revolt was the result of the "failure" of the government to "positively address" the current ethnic crisis.

He added that the situation would be normal by later today or tomorrow.

A group comprising the self-styled Malaita Eagle Force, police and the prison officers took control of the police armoury and the Solomon Islands Telecommunications.

The prime minister was seized and held hostage from 6am.

International telecommunication links were severed.

"The Malaita Eagle Force carried out a joint operation, took weapons from the main police armoury in Rove, the patrol boat base, and all Honiara police stations - thus securing 98 per cent of the arms in the country," said Nori.

Pacnews reported that the Solomon Islands capital was "calm but confused".

The group had threatened to shoot looters and rioters in Honiara. Shops and offices were heavily guarded by the coup members.

The group's demands were the removal of Prime Minister Ulufa'alu and the police commissioner, who is currently out of the country.

There has been ongoing unrest in the Solomon Islands involving the Malaita Eagle Force and the Isatabu Freedom Fighters for the past 18 months. An estimated 50 people have been killed in during the ongoing clashes.

Nori blamed the action on local radio on: "Loss of control by police over the security situation in Honiara, criminal elements taking advantage of MEF operations, failure to respect MEF guidelines for a ceasefire and the IMF not responding to ceasefire.

"The IMF brought 1000 youths to Tenaru area last week and were making new demands.

"Problems in Western province last week would possibly lead to more violence. The government is incapable of preventing this violence. More Malaita youths are moving to Honiara to join MEF," said Nori.

Honiara's mayor, Ronald Fugui, warned people in the capital, saying the action posed a serious security threat to all residents.


This document is for educational and research use only. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright source before reprinting. PASIFIK NIUS service is provided by the niusedita via the Journalism Program, University of the South Pacific. Please acknowledge Pasifik Nius:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Ongoing Carnage In Gaza

The past month has devoted a lot of space to the best music and films of 2018, and far less to the past year’s human rights violations. The under-reporting on the ongoing carnage in Gaza has been a case in point. More>>


Deal On Paris Implementation: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>


New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>


Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>


MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC