“HToday we declared a state of emergency for 14 days in the capital of our country”, declared Marape.
More than 1,000 soldiers are ready to intervene “when necessary” under the state of emergency decree, the country’s prime minister said, following a wave of violence, looting and store fires in two cities in the country that occurred on Wednesday .
Papua New Guinea Police Commissioner David Manning confirmed today that at least 15 people have died in the country’s two main cities.
Violence erupted in Port Moresby on Wednesday night following anti-government demonstrations led by soldiers, police and prison guards to protest unexplained cuts to their salaries.
Also on Wednesday, a crowd gathered in front of the prime minister’s office in Port Moresby, tearing down a security fence and setting fire to a police car parked there.
An angry mob set fire to buildings and looted stores in a night of chaos and violence that spread to the city of Lae, about 300 kilometers to the north.
China filed a complaint with the Government of Papua New Guinea following reports that protesters were targeting Chinese companies and businesses.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said two Chinese citizens suffered “minor injuries” during this wave of violence.
Port Moresby’s main hospital received 25 people who were shot, according to data provided to the AFP news agency by local authorities, adding that another six people were injured with a knife.
On Wednesday, the Government stated that the salary cuts were due to a technical problem and promised to resolve the issue quickly.
This outbreak of violence has highlighted the difficulties in Papua New Guinea, a country plagued by poverty and a high crime rate.
Located approximately 200 kilometers north of Australia, Papua New Guinea is the largest and most populous state in Melanesia.
Although the country has vast deposits of gas, gold and minerals, human rights organizations estimate that almost 40% of its nine million inhabitants still live below the poverty line.
[Notícia atualizada às 11h03]
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