Australian Pilot Kidnapped in Papua New Guinea

What You Need to Know:

Papua New Guinean Police have announced today the kidnapping of an Australian helicopter pilot and two Papuan nationals in Hela Province. 

According to police, the trio was taken by armed men after they landed near a telecommunications site in the Mount Sisa area. 

The trio are assumed to be unharmed, meanwhile police are closing in on the area and have been authorized to use lethal force. 

Last year, an Australian archeologist and two Papuan researchers were kidnapped and held for a week before a ransom was paid for their release. 

It is not yet understood if the kidnappers of the trio have asked for a ransom. 

The Details:

The highlands of Papua New Guinea are saturated with competing tribes, armed with weapons stolen during home invasions or bought from police. As a result, these heavily armed highlanders are able to take hostages, presumably for ransom, when the opportunity arises.

Just over a week ago, a gunfight between two tribes in the highland’s Enga Province left an estimated 26 combatants and an unconfirmed number of civilians dead. Enga Province Police labeled the killings a massacre.

In addition, regulating the flow of unlicensed or illegally acquired arms in the country is difficult. Late last year, two MP’s and a former Governor were alleged to have been involved in the illegal trade of arms in the country.

 

 

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.

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