Papua New Guinea 2018
Papua New Guinea. Human Rights Watch reported in a January report that violence against women in Papua New Guinea has created a crisis. According to Countryaah.com, Port Moresby is the capital city of Papua New Guinea, a country located in Melanesia. The government was accused of neglecting the victims’ need for security and justice. More than two-thirds of women in Papua New Guinea have experienced domestic violence, and in some parts of the country, 80% of men have been violent to their partners.
A volcanic eruption occurred on the island of Kadovar off the north coast in January. Thousands of people were evacuated from it and neighboring islands, and the government planned to settle Kadovar residents on the mainland for a long time. Later, an outbreak occurred on the island of Manam, where a few thousand people were forced to flee their homes.
In February, an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 occurred in the country’s southwest. The devastation was enormous with at least 145 dead, thousands of damaged and destroyed cities, villages, roads and telephone connections. Huge landslides followed the quake in the mountainous area, and the epicenter was so inaccessible and the road network so devastated that it took weeks before the rescue team reached some affected villages. A woman testified about seeing her husband and her seven children swept away in a landslide. The area was described as a war zone, and close to 300,000 people were in need of assistance. The government issued disaster permits.
The area was previously affected by clan battles and many people were already living in refugee camps. Long waiting for help led to new violence with deaths, looting and thefts. The government sent heavily armed police to the area. Extensive production of gas and oil is ongoing in the region and was stopped for safety reasons. Several strong aftershocks hit the area.
In June, in the town of Mendi in the highlands, protesters set fire to a passenger plane leaving the airport. Passengers and crew escaped but the plane was destroyed. Protesters ran amok when a court announced that their candidate lost a disputed governor’s election. The court and the governor’s residence were also burnt down and the death victims were demanded. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who is from the area, announced a state of emergency, dissolved the provincial government and sent out military.
Papua New Guinea received increasing aid and investment from China, which led to concerns in Australia about China’s growing influence in the region. Australia therefore pledged to fund an Internet submarine cable to Papua New Guinea. The settlement stopped a Chinese plan for the cable project.
In October, a boy died in polio, 18 years after the disease was assumed to be eradicated in the country. Several cases were reported, and mass vaccination was carried out.
In November, Papua New Guinea hosted the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperations (APEC) Summit with the world’s most powerful leaders. Prior to the meeting, Australia sent about 1,500 military personnel with naval vessels and fighter planes to the capital Port Moresby to ensure security. It was also announced that Papua New Guinea and Australia will build a joint naval base on the island of Manus with a strategic location towards the Pacific Ocean.