Citation(s) from the Gun Policy News media archive
Democracy Hijacked in Anarchic PNG
Sydney Morning Herald
13 July 2002
Rex Magau lies in Mount Hagen Hospital, his left arm shattered by a bullet from an M-16, the result of trying to do his bit for democracy in Papua New Guinea…
"Democracy has fallen through, it's just a name we are using," the hospital chief, James Kintwa, said. "People don't have their rights. In some places it's, 'I've got a gun here and you have to vote for me'. Candidates realise they can't win this battle by being honest."
The death toll from poll-related violence stands at 20. Locals say the Highlands, the resource-rich heart of PNG, has become a war zone ruled by tribal gangs supplied with high-powered weapons by election candidates, including one cabinet minister. A mix of greed for political power and tribal loyalties has created a deadly arms race, leaving police outnumbered and outgunned.