Papua New Guinea Massacre in Highland Area

Papua New Guinea Massacre in Highland Area

Kanako Mita and Chika Yoshida

Modern Tokyo Times

Tribal tensions witnessed another massacre in Papua New Guinea in the troubled Highland area. Accordingly, while tribal massacres are not rare in this part of the country, the number of at least 53 people being killed is gruesome (some put the figure lower amid the confusion) – and denotes a spiraling problem.

The massacre took place in the Enga Province after an ambush.

Victims were shot dead in the troubled Highlands area. Hence, many body bags are being collected in Wabag.

AP News reports, “A tribe, their allies and mercenaries were on their way to attack a neighboring tribe when they were ambushed Sunday in Enga province in the South Pacific nation’s remote highlands, Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary Acting Superintendent George Kakas told Australian Broadcasting Corp.”

Bodies were found around the ambush and the scene of the battlefield – and further away on roads and along river areas.

The BBC says, “Escalating tribal conflict – often over the distribution of land and wealth – led to a three-month lockdown in Enga Province last July, during which police imposed a curfew and travel restrictions.”

The Guardian Reports, “Last year the province was reportedly put into lockdown after an outbreak of violence which killed as many as 150 people, though estimates vary widely. The incident gained international attention after disturbing footage appearing to show men, tied-up and dragged behind a truck as onlookers cheered, circulated on social media.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia said he was disturbed by the news coming out of Papua New Guinea. However, the nations of Australia, Japan, and America (and the international community from China to the United Kingdom) are muted concerning the ongoing colonialization of West Papua by Indonesia.

Albanese said, “We remain available to provide whatever support we can in a practical way, of course, to help our friends in PNG.” 

The International Committee of the Red Cross in the past said, “An influx of guns and a general breakdown in the traditional rules governing warfare are amplifying the effects of the violence. Today, no one is spared from the ferocity of a fight. Children, mothers, pastors, health-care workers – all have become targets.”

Lee Jay Walker says, “America, Australia, China, and Japan define Papua New Guinea through the prism of geopolitics. However, Papua New Guinea needs support related to development and conflict resolution – along with addressing issues that lead to such wanton violence.”

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News – Sawako Utsumi and Modern Tokyo Times artist Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News