“We are deeply concerned about the unrest and riots in Honiara and have taken swift steps to provide the necessary assistance to restore peace and security,” Ardern said in a statement.
This isn’t the first time New Zealand has sent troops to the Solomon Islands along with Australia, among other countries. Between 2003 and 2017, countries participated in a long-term peacekeeping mission. Subsequently, Australia and the Solomon Islands signed a treaty allowing for rapid deployment of peacekeepers if necessary.
The Australian government said earlier that the troop deployment was scheduled to last only a few weeks this time. Many Malaita residents are unhappy with the peacekeeping force. They accuse Australia of siding with the central government, prompting Australian Prime Minister Morrison to say that his country does not take a position in this conflict.
“Every troop deployment poses risks and challenges, but our people have extensive experience in the region and are seen as highly skilled in conflict mitigation,” Ardern said. She stressed that New Zealanders can also handle dangerous situations well if necessary.
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