Category: Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea covers the eastern part of New Guinea Island and small islands around it. The other part of New Guinea belongs to Indonesia. This division also marks the boundary between Asia and Oceania. The country’s lands have been inhabited for over 40 thousand years. The first European to visit these lands may have been the Portuguese navigator Jorge de Menezes who arrived there in 1526-27, on the Moluccas route. Effective European colonization only occurred in the last decades of the 19th century. In 1988, residents of Bougainville, the most eastern of the country’s islands, started a separatist movement. In 2001, the conflict ended with a peace agreement in which Bougainville and nearby small islands became an autonomous region. In 1975, Papua New Guinea gained independence, but the head of state remains the British monarch. There are 6.8 million residents (2016). The capital is Port Moresby.