Violent outbreak in PNG raises political uncertainty 

Posted on 18 January 2024

On January 10, violence erupted in Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Port Moresby and Lae, as 200 police and public sector workers protested unexplained salary reductions. The protest escalated into a riot, with shops and businesses set on fire and 22 killed.
On Thursday, a 14 day State of Emergency was declared in the nation in attempt to bring the violence under control. Military and police officers were flown in from other provinces to restore order.
“Under the newly declared State of Emergency, there is a clear risk that further human rights abuses and violations might occur in the course of the authorities’ response to the present situation” stated Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher Kate Schuetze. “It is imperative that Papua New Guinea authorities respond to this violence in a way that protects human rights and avoids further loss of life.”

There are concerns the country may enter political chaos, with six MPs in James Marape’s Government have resigned since the outbreak of violence and Marape criticized for causing, and poorly handling, the riot.


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