UN condemns election-related violence on Papua New Guinea Highlands – Global Affairs

The UN national team calls for an “immediate end” to election-related violence amid a deteriorating security situation in the Highlands region of the Southwestern Pacific island, with Government sources confirming” deaths, assaults, rapes and destruction of property and infrastructure”.

Investigation and prosecution call

The UN in PNG is calling for “expeditiously investigate alleged crimes and prosecute alleged perpetrators and masterminds. “

Dirk Wagener, the United Nations Acting Resident Coordinator, said he was “deeply concerned by allegations of the brutal killing of dozens of civilians, reports of gruesome sexual violence against women women, including at least eight girls, and an estimated several thousand people, mainly women and children, displaced”.

This gratuitous violence shows a complete disregard for human rights and the rule of law“He added.

According to reports from the region, the lengthy election process, which has been marred by allegations of ballot tampering and ballot box theft in several provinces, has caused public frustration and increased tension. .

Poor organization, planning and potential clan competition were also cited as driving factors for instability in the voting process, where winners in multiple seats were announced.

In some areas, the violence has become so severe that it has led to fears that the entire democratic process could be derailed.

‘Living in fear’

Families in many counties are living in fear due to widespread violence in their communitiesstatement of the UN group in PNG.

Violence in the Highlands, which spans nearly the entire island, has forced an estimated 3,000 people in parts of Enga to flee their homes and damage schools and health facilities, while businesses Industry and market are also temporary. closed, press release added.

Several roads have been deliberately cut off due to trenching and bridge destruction, resulting in disruption to the supply of goods and services to these communities, which currently lack food, fuel, medicine and other resources. other essential supplies.

Expressing shock at the escalation of violence and the growing humanitarian crisis in some parts of the region, Mr. Wagener called on all sides to immediately stop all fighting and called on authorities to investigate. overview.

Responsibilities of the government

“I want to emphasize that The State of Papua New Guinea has a responsibility to uphold the rule of law and ensure the safety of all people and property, especially the most vulnerable members of society,” he said.

“This responsibility extends to facilitating safe, unfettered and sustainable humanitarian access to those affected by this violence,” added Mr Wagener.

The UN and its partners stand ready to respond to any potential calls for assistance requested by the Government.

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