the contemporary pacific · 18:2 (2006) became a Malaitan-dominated enclave where armed militants plundered the city and the state. In the Guadalcanal countryside, groups of unemployed youths, "raskols," banded together into loose groups of private militia rampaging destructively while no one knew who, if anyone, was in charge. As the lawlessness and looting spread to encircle Honiara, 20,000 plantation workers and impoverished townspeople fled to Malaita as refugees. At the very same time that the main faction leaders were categorically denying any personal responsibility or culpability, they were also demanding that the beleaguered government intervene, especially to pay pseudo-traditional (ie, cash) compensation to calm both sides. Their greed and their looting of the state, often abetted by venal politicians, made the collapse inevitable. However, it took a long time for the regional powers in the Pacific, especially Australia, to accept that the Solomons could no longer cope alone and could not recover without armed intervention from outside. As Fraenkel noted, his book "provides a [chronological] account of the crisis from 1998 to 2003. . . . It relies on those documentary resources that are available from scanty local and international newspaper reports, government press releases, rebel newsletters .
The Contemporary Pacific – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jul 27, 2006