On 11 January 2024, Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape declared a state of emergency in the capital Port Moresby for the next 14 days following widespread unrest the previous day amid a protest strike staged by police officers, prison staff and military personnel over a payroll issue. Approximately 1,000 soldiers have been put on standby to mitigate the risk of further unrest, although the overall situation in Port Moresby appears to have already returned to normalcy. Widespread violence accompanied by rioting and looting in the city left at least nine people dead. Additionally, seven people were killed in the northern city of Lae. Government officials blamed a technical malfunction in the government payroll system that resulted in civil servants’ wages reduced by up to 50% in the latest pay checks; the prime minister has pledged to rectify the issue in the next salary payments.