Crime In Papua New Guinea
If you’re intelligent, curious and not frightened of your own shadow, you’ll find PNG a fascinating place to visit. Like all developing societies, PNG has its challenges. The movement of unskilled rural workers seeking employment in major urban areas leads to ethnic and cultural frictions. Unemployment and poverty lead to civil unrest and crime.
The Mt Hagen Show attracts a local crowd of 50,000 drawn mainly from the Highlands provinces. Many also come from Madang and Lae, the only coastal towns with road access to Mt Hagen. Established by the colonial administration in 1964 with the aim of reducing tribal fighting, promoting inter-marriage and channelling inter-tribal rivalry into positive forms of competition, the Show attracts participants from all parts of PNG including Bougainville and the Tobriand Islands. Violence is virtually non-existent.
If you join the 500 to 1,000 foreign tourist who attend the show each year, you’ll probably be safer there than you are back home.
Bougainville, the largest island of the Solomon’s Island archipelago is an autonomous region of PNG. Magnificently rugged jungle terrain, active volcanoes and stunningly beautiful coral reefs ensure that despite its relative inaccessibility, Bougainville remains a favourite tourist destination.
Travellers are advised that the Panguna mine, the main precipitating factor in the brutal civil war that lasted between 1988 and 1997 is a definite no-go zone. Foreigners who entered the centre without PNG Government authorization have been delayed and questioned, some for several days, and had their passports withheld on departure from the zone.
The abandoned mine is unsafe and the advice to keep out minimizes the risk of accidental injury.
Due to its rugged mountainous terrain which makes navigation and landing difficult, flying in small planes is discouraged. The most recent fatalities occurred in August 2009. The aircraft, an Airlines PNG aircraft, a de Havilland Twin Otter was flying in bad weather when it crashed into a mountain near Kokoda. All eleven passengers and two crew were killed.
However, the national carrier Air Niugini, flies internationally and to all the major cities of PNG. In its 32 years of operation, the airline boasts an unblemished safety record.
So far, international terrorism has not posed any threat for locals or travelers to PNG.
Author: Phil Sylvester
The Kokada Trail, best known as the scene of some of the most bitter fighting between Australian and Japanese forces in World War II (1942) is today, one of the most popular recreational treks in PNG. The Kokoda Trail was originally used by gold miners ... read more »
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