PNG govt wants mandatory IDs 'to prevent lawlessness' in cities

2:35 pm on 11 July 2023
Identity Card

Photo: Copyright: jamesstar

The Papua New Guinea Government has announced plans to make identification (ID) cards mandatory for residents in major urban areas.

This move follows violence last week at Koki in Port Moresby.

Prime Minister James Marape has apologised to those exposed to the violence.

"Strong instructions have now gone to the Police to arrest those involved and to prevent and eliminate these acts of lawlessness going forward," Marape said.

The national ID cards will be rolled out first in Port Moresby and Lae.

Port Moresby in the National Capital District has an estimated population of around 513,000 while Lae city in Morobe Province has a population is around 220,000, according to the National Statistic Office 2021 national population estimates.

The prime minister said every person living in those cities would have to have identification that includes a valid reason for them to live there.

"We want to account for all our people in cities," he said.

"We want to know who you are, where you are from, where you are, and what you are doing here."

Marape said problems arise out of the unplanned settlements in urban areas and the government would be working with city officials to relocate the settlers.

He has called on settlement leaders to take control of their youths.

Marape said the Badili/2 Mile area in Port Moresby continued to have problems and it would be targeted first.

"We will be doing this as fairly as possible by moving you into proper planned allotments and residential areas with known addresses, so we know who you are and what you do while you live in the city.

"For those who continuously demonstrate they cannot live in peace with each other in an urban setting, we will relocate you back to your place of origin."