T HE EVENTS that unspooled in the Solomon Islands on November 24th were from an old script. Protesters from Malaita, the most populous island, crossed to the biggest, Guadalcanal, with grievances over corruption and inequality. They called for the prime minister to go. Near parliament in Honiara, the capital, the protest descended into violence. Three days of looting in the city left much of Chinatown destroyed. Three people died in burning buildings. The damage runs to millions of dollars. It will be a long haul back to normality. Enjoy more audio and podcasts on iOS Android . The Solomon Islands is a threadbare state, and Malaitans have always been among the poorest islanders. Investment and jobs are concentrated on Gaudalcanal. Over the decades Malaitans flocked there, which stoked ethnic tensions. In the late 1990s natives of Guadalcanal campaigned, through intimidation, to drive Malaitans off the island. Rival militias fought. In 2003 the government asked Australia for help. The Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands ( RAMSI ) was popular. Its police and troops could not stop rioting in 2006. But it did prevent the Solomon Islands tipping from threadbare state to failed one. RAMSI wound up in 2017, when… Read full this story
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