Fiji Sends Troops To Solomon Islands As Hunger Fears Grow
Umer Jamshaid Published November 29, 2021 | 10:30 AM
Honiara, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 29th Nov, 2021 ) :Fiji joined an international peacekeeping force in the crisis-hit Solomon Islands Monday as the Red Cross prepared for food shortages in the Pacific island nation's devastated capital Honiara.
Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama deployed an initial 50 Fijian troops to maintain law and order in the wake of deadly anti-government riots, lifting the number of peacekeepers to about 200 -- mostly Australian with a contribution of at least 34 from Papua New Guinea.
He said another 120 troops were on standby if the security situation deteriorated.
- Wrath of fire - Solomon Islands Red Cross Secretary General Clement Manuri said food was becoming scarce in Honiara and aid agencies were assessing whether they needed to distribute emergency supplies.
"We're having meetings now with the NDMO (National Disaster Management Office)," he said.
"It's not clear but soon, in certain crowded places, maybe they'll run out of food." Rioters burned and looted Chinese businesses during the unrest and Manuri said that meant most of the stores where people bought food staples had been destroyed.
He said the Chinese community was keeping a low profile after being targeted and had no immediate plans to reopen their shops.
"They've scattered and are staying with friends," he said. "They're in shock and the priority right now is getting accommodation." The Chinese community was target partly due to the Solomons government's switch diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to China in 2019, a move that angered some communities in the aid-dependent nation.
"Many Chinese individuals and families have lost literally everything and are also homeless," it said, condemning the "senseless" violence.
"My sincere condolences also go to the families who have lost a loved one to the wrath of fire."