In Papua, a dispute over government pay sparks deadly rioting

After riots claimed the lives of at least sixteen people on Thursday, the government of Papua New Guinea announced a state of emergency. Prime Minister James Marape announced the emergency and said at a press conference that the government will act to stop more “lawlessness.” Marape addressed the inhabitants of the South Pacific nation directly, saying, “This is your country as much as it is mine. Violation of the law does not guarantee success.”

 

 

Following the walkout of hundreds of police officers, soldiers, and other government employees on Wednesday, there was disturbance in Port Moresby, the country’s capital. The employees had learned of an unanticipated wage reduction. Later, government representatives called the reduction a glitch and said it was an error. They promised to solve it. According to Australian public broadcaster ABC, the rioting claimed the lives of at least sixteen individuals. Nine people were murdered in riots in Port Moresby, while seven more were reported dead in Lae, a city in the north. Thousands of people were seen in Port Moresby’s streets on local footage, according to the Reuters news agency. The city was enveloped in black smoke, and many carried what looked like looted items.

 

At least 25 patients were reportedly receiving treatment for gunshot wounds at a capital hospital, according to the French news agency AFP. Moreover, according to AFP, at least six patients had treatment for knife wounds. Reporters were informed by Marape that there was proof of “organized rioting.” He pledged that the state will uphold the “rule of law” and “secure democracy.” Approximately one thousand military personnel, he claimed, were ready to be sent to regions where there was still turmoil. Violence in the nation’s capital has decreased, according to Reuters on Thursday. Businesses shuttered, including banks and a number of stores, in an effort to fix damage to their properties.

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