26 Apr 2008

Solomon Islands PM handed a report into April 2006 riots

9:03 am on 26 April 2008

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Derek Sikua has been handed a report into the April 2006 riots that devastated part of the capital, Honiara.

But Dr Sikua said the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry report would not be made public until he and his Cabinet had a chance to study them.

More than 30 Australian police officers serving with the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands or RAMSI were injured in the riots and much of Honiara's Chinatown trading district was burnt down.

The riots - on April 18 and 19, 2006 - were sparked by the election of Snyder Rini as prime minister by the nation's 50 MPs following national elections.

Mr Rini was later forced to step down and was replaced by Manasseh Sogavare, who later appointed two MPs acquitted of inciting the riots as ministers in his cabinet.

Mr Sogavare was a staunch critic of Australia and accused Canberra of meddling in his country's internal affairs.

Last year, when Mr Sogavare was still prime minister, the inquiry team criticised Australian police commanders over their handling of the riots, but also found certain Solomon Islands politicians may have incited the unrest.

Mr Sogavare is now the opposition leader.