Tribal clash in Papua New Guinea leaves 53 men dead, police say

Tribal clash in Papua New Guinea leaves 53 men dead, police say

A brutal tribal conflict in Papua New Guinea claimed the lives of at least 53 men, according to police reports cited by Australian media on Monday.

Police said they expected to find more bodies among the wounded who fled into the forest, and that they had collected corpses from the battlefield, roads and riverbanks.

“These tribesmen have been killed all over the countryside, all over the bush,” Acting Superintendent George Kakas of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

He said it could be the highest death toll from such violence in the highlands, where tribal clashes are common but usually involve fewer casualties.

Papua New Guinea is a diverse, developing country of 10 million people with 800 languages, where most of the population lives off subsistence farming.

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The country has been facing security challenges as China, the United States and Australia seek to strengthen their ties in the region.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his government was ready to help Papua New Guinea, which is Australia’s closest neighbor and the largest recipient of its foreign aid.

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“That is very disturbing the news that has come out of Papua New Guinea,” Albanese said. “We remain available to provide whatever support we can in a practical way, of course, to help our friends in PNG.”

He said Australia was already providing “considerable support” to Papua New Guinea and was training its police officers.

The violence in Enga province has escalated since the 2022 elections that confirmed Prime Minister James Marape’s administration.

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The only exception was the northern province of Hebei, which had a recent outbreak and imposed a lockdown on its capital, Shijiazhuang

The elections and the allegations of fraud and irregularities that followed have often triggered violence throughout the country.

Sources:

At least 53 men massacred in Papua New Guinea tribal violence, police tell Australian media

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Source : THE GUARDIAN

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