PM Sogavare – A target for an US-assisted assassination plot after the Honiara November 2021 riot
PRIME MINISTER Manasseh Sogavare was to be assassinated after the success of the November 2021 riot in Honiara, sources deep within the Malaita For Development (M4D) movement have revealed.
But the assassination plot – the second step carefully planned to remove the DCGA government from office after the riot – came unstuck when Solomon Star revealed the plan in a special investigative report, the sources told Solomon Star this week.
Our report prompted police to beef up security for the Prime Minister with up to nine vehicles in his convoy on his daily routine. While the counter-measures have been scaled down, the assassination threat may not be over just as yet as the heavily-armed squad is waiting “for the right time.”
According to the sources, a seven-member assassination squad handpicked for the job was given support by the United States. Solomon Star has withheld the names of squad members.
“In 2021, Suidani travelled to Taiwan with secret support of US to discuss a plan to oust DCGA. The riot in Honiara was the first step and seemed to work very well. They let Pelican Shipping to ship people from Auki to Honiara to participate in the riot which did intimidate the central government. They were encouraged by the development and hence decided to carry on with the second step, that is, assassination of Sogavare,” the sources said.
A prominent member of the Opposition was also named as a party to the game plan. Solomon Star has withheld his name from this report.
“It’s never an easy thing to do, given that all the security work around him (Prime Minister). But we got some support from (the) US. They delivered some lethal weapons like Self-Loading Rifle (SLR), SR88, Grenade Launcher, Gas Launcher and something I am not familiar with.
According to the source, the US had promised to take good care of M4D members who are charged with organizing illegal activities. The US would send them to other countries to escape imprisonment. One of my fellows, …who was convicted of holding illegal assembly is now in the UK, safe and sound, this source said.
“I heard he got a good life there. Suidani will travel overseas to meet these people occasionally. This is so unfair. He did things but still enjoy his life in another country.”
The M4D revelation is the first time the United States is directly linked to meddling in Solomon Islands’ domestic affairs. Targeted peace-time killing is a breach of international human rights conventions.
In their planning, the assassination squad also carefully picked the potential sites for the killing. Solomon Star has withheld the names of the 9 members of the squad.
“The location was either the area between PM’s residence [at Tasahe]and church, or the area between his [Tasahe] residence and Parliament. I myself didn’t agree with [the]assassination plan because it was way out of line.”
The Tasahe residence was chosen because the security there was weak, the source said.
Many have joined M4D for justice not killing,’ one source said.
Those who spoke up against the plot were beaten up.
“Fortunately, the whole plan was interrupted by your [Alfred Sasako’s newspaper] report. Suidani didn’t expect this plan to be revealed and got frustrated because the security was stepped up since then. Now they will have to wait for the right time.”
“This is also the reason why Suidani resents you (Alfred Sasako). He thinks you always ruin his plan,” the source said of the author of this report.
Solomon Star sought comments on this matter from Suidani through its Auki Reporter, Wilson Saeni, but it instead received a notice to cease and desist publication regarding the former Malaita Premier from his lawyer, Lily Ramo.
By Alfred Sasako