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Papua New Guinea History

Papua New Guinea - national flagPapua New Guinea - national flag

The flag was officially introduced in 1971 and is designed by a local artist. The bird of paradise stands as a symbol of the unity of the country; its feathers are used ceremonially. The star constellation Southern Cross, seen in several flags in the area, refers to the fact that Papua New Guinea previously belonged to Australia. The colors are widely used in the country's handicrafts.

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Papua New Guinea - History

The first groups of people probably came to the then contiguous land area of ​​New Guinea-Australia over the narrow ocean currents from the islands of Southeast Asia more than 40,000 years ago. The earliest societies subsisted on hunting and gathering, but later agriculture based on root crops and pig farming became predominant. Despite a political fragmentation in independent village communities, many of these were regionally connected through trade and exchange systems. The Portuguese Jorge de Meneses went approximately 1526 as the first European to land on the northwest coast of New Guinea. From the end of the 1700's. ships from Australia and later whalers began to sail the waters around Papua New Guinea, and in the 1800's. pushed white missionaries, recruiters, and merchants into the coastal areas. However, the densely populated central highlands remained untouched by whites until the early 1930's. The European powers agreed in 1884 on a threefold division of the island; Holland took the western half (nuv.Irian Jaya), Germany the northeastern part with the Bismarck Archipelago and Bougainville, and Britain created a protectorate consisting of the southeastern part as well as the Louisiana Archipelago. From 1906 Australia ruled British New Guinea under the name Papua and from 1921 also German New Guinea as a mandate area under the League of Nations. During World War II, fighting took place in several coastal areas, and the war became the beginning of major economic and social changes. From 1946, Australia administered the eastern part of the island collectively as the territory of Papua New Guinea, and it was not until 1975 that the country became independent.

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Papua New Guinea has since independence been plagued by social and ethnic unrest in the form of urban violence and crime, clan fighting in the highlands, a separatist movement in Bougainville and unrest around the border with Papua, where Indonesia is fighting a liberation movement. The protracted conflict on Bougainville ended in 2001, when the island was given a home rule scheme.

Papua New Guinea History

After a long period of political instability, in which the government's legitimacy had been questioned, a coup attempt by the military came in January 2012. The coup failed, however, and the government regained control of the country. Later in the year, Peter O'Neill (b. 1965) was installed as Prime Minister.

 

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