New Zealand to send troops to Solomon Islands to restore order after unrest

Wellington: New Zealand’s government pledged on Wednesday to deploy several dozens of soldiers to the Solomon Islands to assist local forces in ensuring security on their territory after it was hit by riots last week.

“New Zealand will send a deployment of New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand Police to Solomon Islands in the coming days. This is a short-term, immediate response and we will continue to monitor the situation,” Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta was quoted as saying in a statement.

According to Defense Minister Peeni Henare, the first group of 15 military personnel will go to the islands on Thursday, and the second unit comprising 50 troops will be deployed over the weekend.

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Over the past several days, Australia, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea sent groups of soldiers to the crisis-hit island nation. According to New Zealand’s media, the Samoan security forces are also ready to join the international mission on the Solomon Islands.

A series of violent protests erupted in the capital of the Solomon Islands last week demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. The unrest claimed three lives while over 100 arrests were made. The situation has since stabilized with the arrival of foreign forces in the area.

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