Solomon Islands Recent History
They were discovered in 1568 by Hernando Gallego, who named them in honor of the great king. And for about 200 years they remained anonymous until in 1768 the French navigator Luigi Antonio de Bouganville discovered them again. From here a deeper knowledge of the archipelago began and then with other expeditions of 1788 and 1792 the knowledge was completed.
Trade and exports of local products developed rapidly, in particular coconut, ivory, shells and timber.
According to Abbreviationfinder, an acronym site which also features history of Solomon Islands, most of the islands were placed under the British Protectorate while the islands of Bouganville and Buka were assigned as “mandates” to Australia.
During the Second World War, the Japanese and the Americans landed on these islands. In 1942 many battles were fought both on land and by sea. One of these battles, which went down in history for the heroism lavished, was that of Guadalcanal on November 15, 1942. The Americans, after overcoming the damage caused by the Japanese in the sudden attack on Pearl Harbor, managed to completely eradicate the Japanese air force and the conquest of the Solomon Islands was completed in November 1943.
Until 1973 the Solomon Islands remained under the Protectorate of Great Britain, then obtained a partially autonomous government. In 1976 they had full autonomy and two years later, in 1978, independence within the Commonwealth.
The main islands of Choiseul, Santa Isabel, New Georgia, Malaita, San Cristobal, Guadalcanal, and a large number of coral atolls, formed the new independent state.
On the island of Guadalcanal, which went down in history for a famous battle between Japanese and Americans, is the capital Honiara.
The indigenous communities that populate it, of Melanesian stock, are so fragmented that about eighty dialects are spoken in the country.
The first general political elections of August 1980 assigned the victory to some independent candidates and Fr. Kenilorea was elected Prime Minister. The following year he had mistrust in Parliament, therefore, exhausted, he had to leave the post to S. Mamaloni, leader of the Alliance of the People’s Party.
Mamaloni immediately put in place the decentralization of power in the various districts and created 5 provincial ministries. Then, however, in 1984 the elections brought back to the Kenilorea government that abolished all the institutes founded by Mamaloni and worked hard to strengthen the central organs of power.
In 1989, shortly before the other elections, Mamaloni sent a proposal to form a Federal Republic and with this program he won the elections.
He immediately abandoned the leadership of his party and installed a coalition government, also assigning positions to members of the opposition, so much so that he appointed Kenilorea to Foreign Affairs. The government was of “national unity” and in May 1993, despite the success of Mamaloni’s policy, Parliament elected the independent Prime Minister F. Billy Hilly.
Also in the early months of 1993 an important step forward was made by Salomonian diplomacy. The situation with relations with Papua New Guinea had significantly improved, with which there had been severe disputes since the 1980s on the issue of maritime borders. The islands have also been accused of subsidizing the rebels of the Revolutionary Army of Bouganville.
Towards the end of 1994 the governor general had to intervene to try to resolve a subsequent institutional crisis. F. Billy Hilly was ousted and replaced by S. Mamaloni, opposition leader, government veteran, on several occasions chaired by him.
Once again there were scandals for corruption against some government ministers and Mamaloni found himself at the center of harsh controversy
In August 1997 there were new elections which led to a government led by B. Ulufa’Alu, leader of the Liberal Party of the Solomon Islands. Many independent members also entered the formation.
The first measure that the premier implemented was a sharp reduction in public spending. But his government could not be considered stable and peaceful because in the summer of 1999 contrasts and tensions arose between the island of Guadalcanal and the province of Malaita that required even the intervention of Commonwealth forces.
They had been assigned the task of disarming a group of rebels who had formed the “Isatambu Freedom Fighters”, already known as the Guadalcanal Revolutionary Army, and bringing the island back into the legal institutions. The presence of these forces in Guadalcanal, for this reason, was delayed in January 2000.