By Robert Iroga in Honiara
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has called on opposition leader Matthew Wale to resign over allegations that he was involved in last week’s riots and has warned over what he calls “domestic terrorists” as bitter crisis claims hardened.
Sogavare revealed this in his opening parliamentary statement on Tuesday in the motion to adjourn the meeting until next Monday — December 6.
The opposition leader had admitted he did not have the numbers for his planned no confidence motion and “yet he is adamant that the motion be held on 6th December, the Prime Minister added.
However, Wale has countered by accusing Sogavare of “provocation” by using ex-militants as security details.
“I urge the Prime Minister to stop using ex-militants as security details,” he said.
“The close protection unit of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) as well as the RSIPF [are] already doing this job’”
Prime Minister Sogavare said: “As stated in Parliament, we have received information that the instigators are now planning to threaten individual members of Parliament in government.
Violence ‘as a tool’
“This is exactly why the leader of opposition is adamant to have the motion debated. He is fully aware that if the threats are successful, the MPs would be resigning ahead of the planned motion of no confidence.
“Wale is using violence and disorder as a tool to further his agenda.”
The Prime Minister condemned this illegal action, saying that if the allegations were true then Wale should be doing the right thing by resigning.
Sogavare also reminded Malaita provincial Premier Daniel Suidani that harbouring criminal elements was a crime under the Penal Code of the Solomon Islands and was punishable by imprisonment.
This call was made following information received by the Solomon Islands government that “domestic terrorists” responsible for the rioting on 24th – 27th November 24-27 had escaped to Auki and were currently being housed by Suidani either at his residence or supporting their accommodation.
That was also a criminal act to “house and protect domestic terrorists”.
Sogavare demanded that Suidani report them to Auki police.
Robert Iroga is editor of SBM Online. Republished with permission.
NZ joins regional ‘stabilisation’ force
Meanwhile, New Zealand Defence Force and police personnel flew to Honiara today to assist with restoration of peace and order, reports RNZ Pacific.
Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said the personnel would maintain peace rather than get involved in domestic politics.
They are joining a Pacific contingent of Australian, Fijian and Papua New Guinean police and troops at the request of the Solomon Islands government.