More NZ peacekeepers arrive to help defuse tensions in Solomon Islands

New Zealand Defence Force troops in Honiara
New Zealand Defence Force troops just after their arrival in Honiara. Image: Elizabeth Osifelo/RNZ Pacific

RNZ Pacific

The latest members of New Zealand’s Defence Force and police contingent have arrived in Honiara after days of unrest in the Solomon Islands capital.

They are part of a regional peacekeeping force that also includes teams from Australia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Two flights landed in Honiara yesterday afternoon from Ōhakea and Auckland Air Force bases.

They have been sent in response to a request for support from the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

The Air Force Boeing 757 and a Hercules transported Defence Force and police personnel, vehicles and other equipment.

NZ Defence Force troops arrive in Honiara to start peacekeeping duties
NZ Defence Force troops arrive in Honiara to start peacekeeping duties. Image: Elizabeth Osifelo/RNZ Pacific

An advance party of New Zealand Defence Force and police personnel arrived in Honiara on Thursday — a week after violent rioting rocked the city for days leaving Chinatown and parts of eastern Honiara severely damaged.

Earlier this week Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said the personnel would maintain peace rather than get involved in domestic politics.

She said a looming vote of no-confidence in Sogavare could trigger more violence.

The New Zealand deployment is expected to be in the Solomon Islands for up to a month.

NZ police arrive in Honiara to help out after civil unrest
Some members of the police are also part of the operation. Image: Elizabeth Osifelo/RNZ Pacific

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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