New Zealand Defence Force personnel and police have arrived in the Solomon Islands on Saturday following recent unrest and rioting in the capital of Honiara.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday confirmed the deployment, and said New Zealand was “committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security”.
A Royal New Zealand Air Force Boeing B757 and a C-130 Hercules left New Zealand on Saturday morning, transporting army and police personnel, vehicles and other equipment from the RNZAF Base Ohakea and RNZAF Base Auckland.
Defence Minister Peeni Henare earlier said an initial NZDF assessment team of approximately 15 personnel would deploy on Thursday, followed by a larger group of up to 50 NZDF and police on the weekend.
Henare said NZDF personnel would “support the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) in maintaining stability, engaging with communities and providing public reassurance”.
The deployment on Saturday comes after the Solomon Islands Government formally requested New Zealand’s assistance on Tuesday.
Australia has also sent police, diplomats and defence personnel.