Opinion: The politics of riots in Melanesia

The riots that erupted in the Papua New Guinea capital, Port Moresby, on January 10 have left a trail of destruction likely to have severe political ramifications. Such disturbances in Melanesia’s major cities are not unusual, but the scale of the riot—triggered mass looting in Honiara in November 2021 and in Port Moresby in January 2024—has been greatly increased by the large-scale drift of youths from the rural areas to the towns. The riots left 22 dead in Papua New Guinea, a grisly tally reached after sevencharred corpses were belatedly discovered in two of the . . .

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