Asia-Pacific

UN condemns PNG massacre, calls for protection of human rights

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The UN has condemned violence in Papua New Guinea this week which saw 16 people, including pregnant women and children, slaughtered in tribal violence.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

The United Nations has condemned the slaughter of 16 people in Papua New Guinea and called for intervention in the Southern Highlands to protect human rights and bring the perpetrators to justice. 

Thirty extra Papua New Guinea police and soldiers have been deployed to Tari in the Hela province as bodies of those killed in Karida village, including pregnant women and children, were buried late yesterday.

Karida villagers have fled, fearing more violence - thought to have been payback for the killing of six people in Menima village on Saturday.

“We denounce in the strongest terms these heinous fatal attacks that show a ruthless disregard for human rights and the rule of law,” David Mcloughlin, UNICEF representative and acting UN resident coordinator in PNG, said.

“The senseless killing of people, including children, who have a fundamental right to be safe and protected from violence, is unacceptable under any circumstance. 

“We call on law enforcement authorities to ensure prompt and effective investigations are undertaken and these and all other perpetrators of such crimes are brought to justice, and to also ensure protection for those who are vulnerable to further attacks.”

Prime minister James Marape in a statement earlier this week said it was “one of the saddest days of his life” and that the perpetrators faced the death penalty.

PNG acting police commissioner Francis Tokura condemned Monday’s killing in the prime minister’s electorate of Tari-Pori.

“This is a tragedy. It is an unbelievable, unthinkable and atrocious criminal act that must be dealt with swiftly and severely. We will use all available resources to bring the killers to justice,” Acting commissioner Tokura said.

Ten PNG soldiers and 20 police mobile squad and local police have been deployed to stop any further violence and capture the killers.

This is the photo of 16 people killed in Karida on Monday morning.
This is the photo of 16 people killed in Karida on Monday morning.
Facebook (Pills Pimua Kolo)

“We need to know if this situation can be handled by the local police or if they will require additional manpower, which in this case will require additional resources,” Acting Commissioner Tokura said.

Local authorities have called for more security reinforcement to protect the local population.

The attacks are reportedly part of a decades-old feud between tribal groups in the Tagali local level government area.

In an unrelated incident, 14 people have been reportedly killed in a tribal clash deep in the jungle the Western Highlands province.

“I am calling on people of Kewuti to stop fighting because lives are at stake,” Western Highlands police commander Senior inspector Jacob Kamiak. 

The fighting has reportedly been ongoing for more than a month after a compensation ceremony over the death of a man in 2017 erupted in violence.

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