Papua New Guinea. According to COUNTRYAAH, Port Moresby is the capital of Papua New Guinea which is located in Melanesia. The government warned that this year’s edition of the weather phenomenon El Niño was about to cause the worst drought in 20 years in Papua New Guinea. The state of emergency was announced in two highland provinces that are important for coffee, an export commodity. But the concern was greatest for the small private farms that most residents feed on. At the end of the year, operations at the Porgera gold mine were halted due to the drought. The water level was too low in the reservoir used in the ore process.
At the beginning of the year, hundreds of men were starving in the refugee detention camp on the island of Manus. They protested against the conditions in the camp and the long wait for asylum investigations, but also against plans to settle in Papua New Guinea. Their refugee destination had been Australia, which refused to accept them and instead agreed with Papua New Guinea and the Nauru kingdom to house the refugees at Australian expense. Many of the strikers were arrested, and guards and police were charged with assault.
The Australian Commission on Human Rights reported child abuse in the displaced refugee camps. The Commission’s leader also criticized rich Australia for settling the refugees in Papua New Guinea, which had difficult economic conditions and difficult social conditions.
Three Australian guards were charged in July with rape at the Manus camp. Rape can be punished with death in Papua New Guinea. Before the report was investigated, they disappeared from the island to Australia, causing anger among police and locals. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill demanded that the men be extradited to Papua New Guinea for trial. O’Neill expressed frustration at more Australians who evicted Papua New Guinea’s judicial system through rapid evacuation.
Accusations of corruption against Prime Minister Peter O’Neill continued throughout the year, while trying to fight those who investigated him. O’Neill had dissolved the anti-corruption agency Taskforce Sweep the year before, a court had rejected the decision but the government refused to fund the agency.
Without government funding, the agency had 350 cases under investigation at the beginning of the year and 91 cases in court. It was named as the most successful corruption hunter in the country’s history and received international acclaim. But two Australian lawyers who participated in the corruption investigation against O’Neill were refused entry into Papua New Guinea. The ban was lifted by a court in October.
The government was criticized for a bank loan during the year of the equivalent of SEK 8 billion for the purchase of shares in the country’s largest oil company. O’Neill was charged that the decision on the loan was not made lawfully and that the debt was doubtful in a stressed financial situation. Two former prime ministers, Michael Somare and Mekere Morauta, left the ruling party in October and demanded an inquiry into the loan. O’Neill argued that the charges were political. Sommer was said to have been offered the opportunity to become the opposition prime ministerial candidate. The opposition demanded mistrust of O’Neill, but this won the vote in parliament.