Aussie Troops Back to the Solomons

Australian troops are heading back to the Solomon Islands to quell another outbreak of violence after the latest elections, the BBC reports.

Some 180 Australian soldiers and police have begun arriving in the country to try to impose order after a written request from the Solomons government. A smaller contingent of additional New Zealand peacekeepers are set to arrive on Thursday.

But the BBC’s Phil Mercer says there are concerns that the presence of more foreign troops could inflame the situation in the troubled city.

About 280 Australian police were already in the country as part of a regional force sent to restore peace in 2003, after violence stirred up by local warlords left hundreds dead and 20,000 displaced.

Wednesday’s rioting came after newly-elected MPs met in secret to elect a new prime minister.

‘Chinese connections’

Mr Rini, 56, beat off two main rivals in Tuesday’s secret ballot for the leadership – former Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and Job Dudley Tausinga, leader of the new Rural Advancement Party.

He is accused of being too closely linked to former Prime Minister Allan Kemakeza’s administration, which was tainted by corruption allegations.

As usual, the Head Heeb is already on the case.

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