22 Mar 2010

Talks due in PNG to discuss plight of Manam islanders

12:44 pm on 22 March 2010

The Papua New Guinea's government has called a crisis meeting to resolve escalating tensions between Bogia villagers and refugee Manam islanders who fled from an erupting volcano in 2004.

Bogia people, who live in Madang province, are fed-up with the 15,000 displaced Manam islanders who were only ever supposed to stay in Bogia for six months.

Earlier this month, one person was killed in ongoing violence between the two groups.

Last year, six Bogia men were arrested after a Manam woman was bashed and her three-year-old daughter beheaded.

The Post Courier newspaper says the government will hold an urgent meeting today in light of threats there will be more violence unless the matter is immediately resolved.

A Manam Island leader says the islanders want to be resettled away from Bogia after their experiences but cannot return to their island because the volcano remains active.