Security Alert: Papua New Guinea Election Cycle (May 13, 2022)
We advise U.S. citizens in Papua New Guinea to exercise increased caution throughout the 2022 election period and subsequent formation of a new government, which runs from May 12 through the end of August. Historically, the election cycle has led to increased demonstrations which often become violent, typically between rival political parties and their supporters, especially after polling ends, during vote counting, and when results are contested or challenged. Even protests intended to be peaceful can quickly turn confrontational and escalate to violence.
The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary has identified specific regions and provinces where it expects significant demonstrations which may turn violent, including the Highlands region (Western Highlands, Eastern Highlands, Southern Highlands, Chimbu, Enga, Hela, and Jiwaka provinces) and the provinces of Milne Bay, Morobe, West New Britain, and the National Capital District.
We advise avoiding areas where demonstrations or protests might be taking place and to exercise caution within the vicinity of any large gathering. Do not attempt to drive through any large groups and barricades encountered on the streets. We recommend driving with windows closed and doors locked and remaining vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times.