Reference : V-P-PG-E-00201
Date : 25/10/2016
Country/Region : PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Caption : Ragu. Portrait of Helen, a woman whose house was burnt during a tribal conflict. She was severly burnt.
Photographer : BOYLAN, Jessie
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : ICRC website, photo gallery "Lives lost, futures destroyed: Stories from Papua New Guinea’s tribal wars", 29 May 2017

"Helen Rami, an elder of the conflict-affected Wambia clan in Southern Highlands Province, suffered severe burns after the house in which she was sheltering was hit by a grenade during a tribal fight in 2013. Helen spent more than a year in hospital undergoing treatment for her injuries and to this day continues to experience intense physical pain. “I woke up and felt a strange, heavy feeling in the house. I looked outside: I saw lightning and darkness everywhere. We did not know that we were surrounded by our enemies. I told everyone: ‘Our enemies are here! Wake up! Wake up!’ They started burning down the house. It was hard for us to escape and a lot of people died. I tried to shelter underneath a blanket but it also caught fire and burnt so much of my skin. I prayed to God to help me. I said, ‘God, my life is yours.’ He answered my prayers because somehow I escaped. I don’t remember what happened after that. I did not think of whether I was dead or alive. My life was already gone.”

Home to some of the remotest communities in the world, the Papua New Guinea Highlands is a region of breathtaking, untouched beauty. However, these spectacular hills and valleys also harbor a disturbing reality: across the Highlands, tribal communities are at war. Vicious conflicts – over land, resources and other grievances – lead to thousands of displacements each year and rob families of their lives and livelihoods.
In Papua New Guinea's modern-day conflicts, no-one is spared from the fight – anyone or anything is a target – and tragically this includes women and children. Here, people caught up in these tribal disputes, share their stories, illustrating the serious, ongoing humanitarian impact of Papua New Guinea's chronic tribal wars."
Original material : digital
Resolution : 3744x5616
Orientation : portrait
Colour/B&W : colour