Papua New Guinea declares state of emergency over riots
Papua New Guinea has declared a state of emergency, suspended a provincial government and is sending armed forces to its rugged highlands to restore order after rioters went on a rampage of looting and burning, the government said.
Violence has often ravaged the remote interior of the resource-rich Pacific nation, where tribal and land disputes overlay regional politics. Armed crowds angered over the failure of a court challenge to a regional governor’s election burned an aeroplane, looted a warehouse and torched buildings in Mendi, the capital of the Southern Highlands province, this week.
Papua New Guinea has declared a nine-month state of emergency in the province, and suspended its government for the duration, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said on Friday.
More than 200 PNG Defence Force troops are to be flown to the city of Mount Hagen on Saturday before making their way to Mendi, media outlet Loop PNG said.
Many communities are still receiving aid after February’s 7.5-magnitude earthquake killed 100 people, testing the finances and capacity of one of the world’s poorest countries.
Source: Reuters Kayra Watson The Kootneeti Indo-Pacific Team
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