A migration of settlers from Malaita, the country’s second biggest island and most populous province, to the economic opportunities on Guadalcanal and Honiara stoked ethnic tensions and eventually unrest.

The Solomon Islands’ decision to switch its diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to Beijing has been blamed for arson and looting in the national capital Honiara, where protesters are demanding the prime minister’s resignation, AP reports.

Australian police, troops and diplomats are helping local police restore peace and order while trying to keep out of the domestic political dispute.

Here’s a look at some of the reasons behind the turmoil:

ETHNIC TENSIONS OPEN OLD WOUNDS

The Solomon Islands are famous as a battleground of World War II, the pivotal Battle of Guadalcanal named after the country’ largest island where the restive capital Honiara is located.

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