Papua New Guinea security forces storm parliament in APEC pay dispute

Hundreds of police and security forces in Papua New Guinea stormed the national parliament building on Tuesday, demanding payment for work during a just-ended summit meeting of Pacific Rim leaders, according to local media reports.

Local broadcaster TVWAN reported that a convoy of 10 to 20 vehicles drove to the parliament building around noon, and that the protestors caused «superficial damage» to the building, including smashing windows and tipping over security equipment.

[Getty for Carnival Australia/Kyodo]

Lawmakers reportedly locked themselves inside their offices for safety.

Several of the protestors who had provided security during the summit had allegedly not been paid for two months, according to TVWAN.

Reports of parliamentarians and journalists being attacked in front of the building, as well as looting and gunfire in market areas of Port Moresby have also emerged.

Although the dispute was settled after several hours, opposition lawmaker Allan Bird told The Australian newspaper that the incident «could be a sign of things to come.»

Papua New Guinea, which hosted the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit over the weekend, is the poorest member of the 21-member grouping.

Some locals have criticized the government’s decision to spend lavishly on staging the event while health and education are poorly underfunded.

All — Kyodo News+

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