Solomon Islands /ˈsɒləmən ˈaɪləndz/ ( listen) ) is a sovereign state in Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of 28,400 square kilometres (10,965 sq mi). The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal. The nation of the Solomon Islands is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The Solomon Islands are believed to have been inhabited by Melanesian people for many thousands of years. Spanish navigator Alvaro de Menda˝a discovered the islands in 1568 and named them Islas Salomon. The United Kingdom established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in 1893. In the Second World War, there was fierce fighting between the Americans and the Japanese in the Solomon Islands campaign of 1942ľ45, including the Battle of Guadalcanal.
Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. The Solomon Islands is a constitutional monarchy with the Queen of the Solomon Islands, at present Elizabeth II, as the head of state. Danny Philip is the tenth and current Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands. He was elected on August 2010.
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