22 Nov 2012

Ethnic clashes in PNG displaces up to 700 people

8:44 am on 22 November 2012

More than 700 people are living in a camp outside Lae in Papua New Guinea, after being displaced by ethnic clashes.

A number of people died in ethnic clashes that erupted in the Morobe province city last year, and hundreds of homes of Highlands immigrants were burnt down.

The makeshift camp reportedly has only one toilet, and as many as 20 people are accommodated in tents, including children.

Our correspondent in Lae, Oseah Philemon, says the provincial government has set up a body to do something about it, but that has been dormant since the July election.

"The Morobe provincial government set up a committee that was supposed to investigate and recommend long term solutions to that particular crisis. Now, it came very close to the elections and somehow the committee became inoperative and the problem still exists and now we have a new crisis on our hands. Our new governor, Mr Kelly Naru, has spoken to people."

Oseah Philemon reporting from Lae.