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In January 2024, Papua New Guinea experienced significant turmoil, with violent riots posing a threat to Prime Minister James Marape’s fragile grip on power.
On Jan. 10, protests broke out in Port Moresby as 200 police, military, and corrections officers went on strike to protest payroll issues that resulted in substantial pay cuts of up to 50 percent for public servants.
This strike created a security vacuum, allowing hundreds of residents to take advantage of the absence of law enforcement and leading to street riots and looting.
The chaos resulted in the loss of 22 lives across the country, prompting Mr. Marape to declare a 14-day state of emergency in the capital. These riots have been fueled by underlying social issues such as high unemployment and widespread poverty.