UPDATE ON WINGIMA HOME BURNINGS: (reporting from Jethro Tulin)
1. A Total of 87 permanent structured were burnt down
2. At the time of the raid, two women where raped according to witness.
3. 5 people were seriously injured and admitted to hospital.
People feared the police and cases were not properly reported to police nor did people seek medical reports.
From June 9: “Porgera Burns” read headlines in Papua New Guinea’s daily newspaper. More than 200 houses were burnt to the ground, it reports, and angry villagers retaliated by attacking an Australian mine worker.
This isn’t the first time that security forces have burnt down hundreds of houses next to Barrick’s mine, and this recent violent episode underscores the need to meet the community’s demand to be resettled away from the dangerous mine site.
“This is the second time this village (Wingima) was burnt down. The first one was done during the first state of emergency call out operation some six years ago which never solved the problem,” MP Nixon Mangape said of this most recent police campaign.
“Why is Barrick not looking at long term solutions like relocating the people out of the special mining lease area? Burning houses in a particular village in the special mining lease area will not solve the illegal mining problem. It’s adding more fuel to a burning fire.”