Papua New Guinea. A Kurdish refugee in the criticized
detention camp on the island of Manus in Papua New Guinea
received Australia's most prestigious literary award at the
beginning of the year, the Victoria Prize. On mobile,
Behrouz Boochani had secretly authored an autobiography and
described the conditions in the camp. He had sent the text
in messages to Australia, where he was not allowed to enter
and therefore was unable to attend the awards ceremony.
The camp on the island of Manus, to which Australia sent
boat refugees, was emptied during the year on asylum seekers
following a court decision on human rights violations.
CountryAAH, Papua New Guinea was described as the world leader among
developing countries in terms of small-scale solar energy
during the year. The country is one of the most inaccessible
in the world for the extension of traditional electricity
networks, where only 13% of the residents have fixed
networks. Eight out of ten residents live in villages, often
very remote, where the distribution of mini solar panels has
increased dramatically. Of the country's households, 60%
were reported to have access to portable solar power.
Photogen lamps are replaced by LED lamps, mobile phones can
be recharged and fans cool in the heat.
International studies showed during the year that Papua
New Guinea has the world's highest proportion of age-related
health problems. While a Swedish 73-year-old, on average,
feels like a 65-year-old, a 46-year-old in Papua New Guinea
feels like a 65-year-old, according to researchers in the
Finance Minister James Marape resigned in April in
conflict with Prime Minister Peter O'Neill. Marape was
critical of the government's agreement with French Total on
a new gas project and considered it to disadvantage Papua
Gas export had created political conflict for a long
time. An existing giant project outside the capital Port
Moresby was criticized for increasing government debt but
not benefiting the poor population. High crime and severe
corruption also dissatisfied, and several ministers followed
in Marape's footsteps and resigned in protest against
MPs also withdrew their support, O'Neill lost his
majority and resigned. Parliament elected Marape as new
prime minister. He claimed that Papua New Guinea would
become the world's richest "black Christian" nation in ten
years, which, critics say, would require 30% economic growth
each year. Despite its wealth of minerals, oil and gas,
Papua New Guinea was in 153rd place of 189 in terms of
development, according to the UN.
In June, the Ulawun volcano in New Britain suffered a
major eruption. According to meteorologists, ash was thrown
18 kilometers into the air. Homes and farms were destroyed,
and over 10,000 people fled their homes.
The country was shocked in July by massacres in two
villages in the highlands, where 25 people were killed in
the new prime minister's constituency. Some had been shot to
death, others had been crushed as revenge.
In September, the political opposition went to the
Supreme Court to question the election of James Marape as
prime minister. It was argued that the nomination process in
Parliament was not right.
At the same time, police announced that Deputy Prime
Minister Peter O'Neill would be arrested on suspicion of
corruption. An arrest warrant was issued, but O'Neill
refused to cooperate. Then it was stated that the police
withdrew the arrest warrant.
For two weeks in November and December, a referendum was
held on the island of Bougainville, when close to 98% of
voters said yes to Papua New Guinea's independence. The
result is not binding and the Papuan Parliament has the
final say in the matter.