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MOFA issues yellow travel alert for the Solomon Islands

2019/04/25 23:20:42

Taipei, April 25 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) issued a yellow travel alert for the Solomon Islands Thursday after protests broke out in the country's capital Honiara, following a prime ministerial election a day earlier.

MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said some people were unhappy with the victory of veteran Solomon Islands politician Manasseh Sogavare in Wednesday's election and rioted in parts of Honiara, damaging commercial property near Pacific Casino Hotel and in the suburb of Lungga.

Rioting has so far not spread beyond the capital and members of Taiwan's embassy and their families are all reportedly safe, Lee said.

MOFA urged Taiwanese in the city to take precautions to ensure their safety and keep in touch with the embassy.

A code "yellow" is the third level in MOFA's 4-tier travel warning system, which consists of red, orange, yellow and gray, where "red" represents the most serious situation.

Yellow means Taiwanese travelers should review their travel plans and be extra vigilant when visiting.

As of press time, Honiara is reported to be under control with local authorities having arrested more than 30 people, Lee said.

The ruling and opposition parties in that country have called on the public to remain calm and respect the election result, and to file any election complaints with judicial agencies, he added.

Following an inconclusive April 3 election in which no single party won a majority, Sogavare won the backing of 34 of the country's 50 members of parliament in a controversial run-off Wednesday, with his opponents boycotting the vote.

Asked to comment on the election result and what it means for bilateral relations earlier Thursday, Lee said Taiwan's government is optimistic about the future of relations between the two countries.

(By Ku Chuan and William Yen)
Enditem/AW