Fijians In PNG Safe For Now: Yogesh Karan

Reports of men walking around with knives, unmitigated attacks haunts residents, families.
26 Jul 2022 15:19
Fijians In PNG Safe For Now: Yogesh Karan
Salote Moce Rokobuli and her two daughters, Akosita Lakai Rokobuli and Adi Moce Rokobuli at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, on July 25, 2022.

Fijians living in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are safe, but they have been advised to stay indoors, says Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Yogesh Karan.

This is in response to the recent election-related violence in PNG, following reports of people being stabbed, assaulted and the extensive destruction of property and infrastructure. These violence could also be viewed on videos that have been uploaded on social media.

A Fijian security officer in Port Moresby, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said people were walking around with knives, stones and anything they could use.


“What happened on Saturday was regarding the election, but here we have opportunists who take advantage of the tension going on,” he said.

“Today, we can see brawls happening everywhere. I live in the capital and one thing that is common here is that whenever I meet the men from here, they hold knives.”

Salote Moce Rokobuli, who has been living in PNG for the past 12 years, said where they lived was secure and safe.

“My thoughts are in Fiji, especially with my family, but one of my daughters just arrived from Fiji last Friday for semester. I have asked her and my other daughter to stay home. We thought that she would come and enjoy herself but now we can’t go outside,” Ms Rokobuli said.

“We are safe inside the house but once we go outside there are risks. All we can do is text other Fijians in PNG via a group chat and inform each other not to go outside.”


Fiji closed its embassy in Port Moresby in 2020. The closest Fijian embassy for Fijians in PNG is based in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

“We don’t have an embassy here for the Fijian community, so officials help us out with everything that is going on. There is no school until everything is settled. So, we ask our families in Fiji to pray for my children and I as we go through this situation,” she said.

Another Fijian, Jone Tovolei- suva, said: “We have been told to remain indoors, there was looting in a house 10 minutes ago near my house. I lived in PNG since 2010. People here have closed their business and have gone home.”

United Nations Resident Coordinator, Dirk Wagener, said he was “deeply concerned over allegations of the brutal killing of dozens of civilians, reports of heinous sexual violence against women, including at least eight girls, and estimates of several thousand people, mostly women and children, displaced. This unmitigated violence shows utter disregard for human rights, and the rule of law.”



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