8 Nov 2011

Squatters left homeless by riots in PNG's Lae now in care centres

2:01 pm on 8 November 2011

Police in the Papua New Guinea city of Lae are working to resettle more than a thousand people left homeless following ethnic clashes last week.

The violence began after youths unsuccessfully sought to present a petition to the governor of Morobe calling for efforts to tackle lawlessness.

Clashes with squatters from Highlands areas erupted with police saying at least nine people were killed.

Our correspondent in Lae, Oseah Philemon, says homes in a squatter settlement were destroyed, leaving hundreds homeless.

"There are a lot of people who have been displaced as a result of the violence. Provincial government and the police are working closely with them to resettle them. Many of them have lost their homes but they are living in make-shift care centres. It will take a bit of time before they can be resettled."

Oseah Philemon says the provincial government has set up a committee to look into the unrest, to try and prevent it happening again.