Solomon Islands

Village torched in Solomons arson attack

The police said more than 30 people were involved in looting and torching the houses at Taravo Village on Sunday in the Titige area west of the capital, Honiara.

The perpatrators are believed to have been retaliating after one of their own people was attacked and wounded the day before.

Armed with knives and stones, they attacked in the early hours of Sunday morning cutting down trees and crops, killing animals, looting and setting fires.

Taravo's 50 residents escaped into the bush to seek shelter.

Solomons warlord makes plea for forgiveness

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation reports that Keke and some of his followers made the plea at a prison reconciliation ceremony.

Keke was a leader in the Guadalcanal Revolutionary Army, a guerilla group which took up arms in the late 1990s and mounted a campaign of intimidation against Malaitans on Guadalcanal.

He is serving a life sentence for murder after he arrested by peacekeepers in 2003.

The Corrections Service said Keke apologised to his victims at the ceremony and pleaded for forgiveness.



Pre-season cyclone forms near Solomon Islands

Cyclone season in this part of the world does not usually begin until November.

The Fiji Meteorological Service said Cyclone Liua, a category one, was west of Makira on Thursday morning, and was forecast to pass the southern islands before veering out to sea.

Its winds were about 65km/h, but these were expected to increase. The cyclone was forecast to become a category two later on Thursday, near Rennell Island.

Solomons police remove unexploded bomb in capital

The Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team conducted Operation Render Safe on the un-exploded ordnance at Point Cruz.

A police statement said that this type of World War II shell is uncommon and has not been found before in Honiara's central business district.

The Solomon Star reported that the team isolated and secured the unexploded explosive shell on Tuesday after receiving a report from a construction group working there.

To remove it first requires it to be rendered safe by the properly trained unit.

Solomon Islands starts voter registration

The Chairman of the Commission and Speaker of the National Parliament, Ajilon Nasiu, said the aim was to enrol all eligible people over the age of 18 prior to next year's general election.

Mr Nasiu said the existing voter list is being updated and those already on it don't need to register.

He said the update starts next month.

It's estimated some 35,000 young people are now able to register as voters.


Woman killed by lightning in Solomon Islands

The Solomon Star newspaper reports the 20-year-old mother of two was working outside the family home in Baegu, North-East Malaita when she was struck, dying on the spot.

A close relative of the family told the paper the family was shocked by the incident and the entire community was in mourning.

A chief from a nearby village said the thunderstorm had raged over the area all of Tuesday and Wednesday.

It is unclear whether a police investigation will be launched into the death.



SI’s buai market

Whilst it has its disadvantages, it has the undeniable effect of bridging people together despite language barriers.

The PNG contingent who are currently in Honiara, Solomon Islands, for the 6th Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival, are experiencing this concept firsthand.

While some participants have taken to chewing with gusto the buai on offer here at the festival, it is most evident as the buses seem to frequent the local designated buai market at Kukum.

Solomon Islands prepares to host Melanesian Arts Festival

The Melanesian Arts Festival begins in Honiara this Sunday.

The Solomon Islands head for Culture and Tourism Andrew Nihopara has also welcomed news from New Caledonia's Government that they will provide more than one tonne of fireworks, the sound system and lighting equipment for the festival.

Nihopara says the help from New Caledonia provides relief for the host country's limited budget.

New Caledonia's delegation to the Solomon Islands will be joining teams from Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Fiji for the week-long event.



Former Solomons govt official convicted of corruption

The ruling on Friday is being hailed by local police as a significant result in the fight against corruption.

The charges relate to the embezzling of more than a million Solomon Islands dollars from 2014 to 2017 by John Murray, who was the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development.

This involved the ministry's use of a car rental company which Murray co-owned.

Solomons' police watching border with Bougainville

The police patrol boat, Lata, is currently in the Shortland Islands, which are very close to the south of Bougainville main island.

Deputy Police Commissioner, Gabriel Manelusi, said that the Lata is carrying specialist staff who have teamed up with local police to investigate alleged criminal activities by people crossing the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea border.

He said the officers wanted to ensure the Shortlands' communities are not undermined by any foreign nationals acting illegally.