15 Jul 2002

People in PNG's Highlands suffering shortages because of electionn violence

12:52 pm on 15 July 2002

People in Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands centre of Mendi are running short of food and money because of the general elections violence.

Services in the town have stopped and the price of basic items has risen after businesses and trucking companies stopped operations.

Police, backed by the PNG Defence Force, are now manning the roads leading into Mendi and protecting government property.

With all stores, the bank, and post office closed people are running out of money and food.

There is also no fuel for sale in Mendi and all schools are closed.

The election was due to run in the region for two weeks, but has now spilled into an unprecedented fourth week because of security and financial problems