27 Jan 2024

PNG academic says fundamental change is required after riots

From , 6:02 am on 27 January 2024
People carry items as crowds leave shops with looted goods amid a state of unrest in Port Moresby on January 10, 2024. Papua New Guinea's prime minister declared a 14-day state of emergency in the capital on January 11, 2024, after 15 people were killed in riots as crowds looted and burned shops. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP)


Papua New Guinea needs a giant wakeup call according to a local academic.

Andrew Anton Mako said the country's systemic dysfunction was plain to see in the rioting and looting throughout the country's main cities two weeks ago.

Mr Mako, who is with the Australian National University's Development Policy Centre, said the government has failed to address the underlying causes of violence for years. 

He spoke with RNZ Pacific's Don Wiseman firstly about how the outbreak of violence would have been avoided if systems had worked like they should.