Honiara is the capital city of the Solomon Islands, governed as a provincial town on Guadalcanal Island’s northeastern coast.
It has a population of 64,609 people in 2009. Honiara International Airport and the seaport of Point Cruz serve the city, which is located along the Kukum Highway.
During the Guadalcanal Campaign in World War II, the airport region to the east of Honiara was the location of a conflict between the United States and the Japanese, the Battle of Henderson Field in 1942, from which America emerged victorious. Honiara started to expand and increase in population after becoming the new capital of the British Protectorate of Solomon Islands in 1952, with the erection of various governmental buildings.
Honiara has had a volatile history of ethnic violence and political instability since the late 1990s, and it is scarred by riots. Following a coup attempt in June 2000, ethnic Malaitans of the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF) and Guadalcanal locals of the Isatabu Freedom Movement engaged in violent rebellions and warfare (IFM).
Despite the fact that a peace accord was signed in October 2000, violence erupted in the city streets in March 2002, when two New Zealand diplomats and countless others were killed. Honiara’s conditions deteriorated to the point that Australian military and police troops were sent in to restore order in July 2003. Riots erupted in 2006 after the election of Snyder Rini as Prime Minister, damaging a section of Chinatown and displacing around 1,000 Chinese inhabitants.
The riots wreaked havoc on the town, and tourism in both the city and the islands suffered greatly as a result.