Michael Somare: Papua New Guinea’s ‘Father Of The Nation’, Dies Aged 84

Michael Somare: Papua New Guinea's 'Father Of The Nation', Dies Aged 84. image: wikimedia

MICHAEL SOMARE: Papua New Guinea’s ‘Father Of The Nation’, Dies Aged 84, in Melbourne, Australia

Michael Somare, the man forever known as Papua New Guinea’s ‘Father of the Nation’, has died aged 84, this morning (Friday 26), after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early February, said his daughter, Betha Somare, in a statement, adding that many Papua New Guineans had embraced her father as their own “father and grandfather”.

Somare was the man who in 1975 led the Pacific archipelago to independence from Australia and served four times as prime minister, having been, prior to 1975, the chief minister of the Australian-administered territory of Papua New Guinea, as reported by Reuters.

The island of Papua New Guinea is one of the largest island economies in the South Pacific, and is rich in resources and minerals, including oil and gas and gold and copper, but has suffered economic hardship and internal conflict, most notably during the decade-long civil war in the Bougainville region, that up until its end in 1998, had claimed as many as 20,000 lives.

James Marape, the current Prime Minister of the Pacific island territory said in a statement “Our nation honors this great leader, the founding and longest-serving prime minister of our country. He is unmatched by anyone of us who comes after him”, and appealed for a week of silence, peace and calm for the country to pay its respects.
Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister tweeted on Friday that Somare was the founding father of a democratic and independent PNG and “great friend” to Australia.

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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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