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Solomon Islands leader blames foreign powers for unrest

By DAVID RISING and ROD McGUIRK
Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Solomon Islands prime minister has blamed foreign interference for anti-government protests, arson and looting that have ravaged the capital in recent days following his government’s decision to switch alliances from Taiwan to Beijing. Manasseh Sogavare angered many in 2019, particularly leaders of the Solomon Islands’ most populous province, Malaita, when he cut the country’s diplomatic ties with self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its territory. Sogavare said he stood by the decision to embrace Beijing, which he described as the only issue in the violence. Sogavare refused to name foreign powers. The capital Hoinara’s Chinatown and its downtown precinct have been the focus of rioters and protesters demanding Sogavare’s resignation. 

associatedpress

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