Security Best Practices in the Aftermath of January 10 Civil Unrest
Event: The government of Papua New Guinea announced a 14-day state of emergency on January 11, 2024, following widespread looting and rioting in the National Capital District and other regions in Papua New Guinea. While reports indicate the situation has largely calmed, tensions remain high, and the situation could change at a moment’s notice. The state of emergency does not include a curfew, but restricts public gatherings, limits the sale of alcohol, and give law enforcement additional authority to stop and search individuals, vehicles, and premises. The full text of the state of emergency is available here:
Many local businesses are damaged or destroyed, including fuel stations and grocery stores, and may not be operating. For the businesses that are open, there could be large, unpredictable crowds and a tense and unsettled atmosphere. Stores that are open may close early or have sporadic hours.
Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby remains operational, but travelers should confirm flights with their airlines as there have been reports of flight cancellations or delays.
The U.S. Embassy remains fully operational. A duty officer is available in case of emergency at all times through the contact information below. Individuals should review and follow the security best practices listed below.
Security Best Practices:
- Keep a full tank of gas for your vehicles. It is common in PNG for fuel disruptions and rationing.
- Avoid crowds and demonstrations.
- Monitor local media for updates. Be aware of rumors, try to confirm with a trusted source and inform RSO.
- Keep your cellphone charged. Consider carrying a battery bank.
- Assess food and water stocks. Determine if you have enough supplies to last until business returns to normal.
- Carry Go Bags and keep a Stay Bag at work. Have water, snacks, a change of clothes, and medicine.
- Notify friends and family of your safety, and your whereabouts.
- Be vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs. Hours of operations may change at any minute. Consider keeping some extra cash at home in case you cannot access your bank for an extended period.
- Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive jewelry or watches.
- Avoid walking or driving at night.
- Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
- Review your personal security plans. Always know how to get home, even if it means walking.
- Have a plan for family or child-care if you are unable to get home right away.
U.S. Embassy, Port Moresby
- State Department – Consular Affairs 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
- Papua New Guinea Country Information – https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/PapuaNewGuinea.html
- Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates
- Follow us on Facebook (com/usembassyportmoresby/) and Twitter (twitter.com/USEmbassyPOM)