/ 20 February 2024

In mourning over a massacre

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There has been a terrible escalation of tribal violence in Papua New Guinea, with at least 49 people shot dead in an ambush in the country’s Highlands. While the remote region has been plagued by killings between rival tribes, police say this is one of the largest massacres in recent history. Acting Superintendent George Kakas noted, “we’re all devastated, we’re all mentally stressed out” after seeing the terrible scenes. Enga Province was put into lockdown last year so police could try to stop the flow of guns and ammunition to the warring factions, and Australia has already boosted support to local police under a big security pact signed last year – but the PM says he’s willing to offer more help. It’s been a tough start to the year for our nearest neighbour, with the latest violence coming after 16 people were killed in the capital, Port Moresby, in January after rioting sparked by a public service pay dispute.

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