Rioting and looting intensify in Solomon Islands political protests

Source: 1News

The Solomon Islands has had its third day of rioting and looting as protests urging Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to resign intensify.

Around the capital Honiara, dozens of buildings have been razed to the ground, with protesters reported to have set a building on fire behind the Prime Minister's residence.

For the last two nights looters have been out in force, leaving the Solomon Islands police overwhelmed, and their own stations not exempt from the looting.

The unrest began on Wednesday during a protest outside Parliament, with many Malaitans in the crowd angry that there's been a lack of development in their province.

They're un-supportive of their Government's decision to switch diplomatic allegiances from Taiwan to China.

Many of the buildings targeted are Chinese-owned, which is raising the alarm in Beijing.

Australia has sent a deployment of police officers to protect infrastructure like ports.

Australia and New Zealand led a regional assistance mission in the Solomon Islands from 2003 to 2017 after years of civil unrest.

Locals are hoping this unfolding situation isn't the beginning of more to come.