Papua New Guinea PM Displeased with Biden’s Cannibalism Remark

Prime Minister James Marape of Papua New Guinea didn’t take kindly to President Joe Biden’s recent comments hinting that his uncle might have been eaten by cannibals during World War II. Biden’s words, spoken at a war memorial event in Pennsylvania, stirred up controversy and upset the people of the South Pacific island nation.

During his speech, Biden shared the story of his uncle, Second Lt. Ambrose J. Finnegan Jr., an aviator in the Army Air Corps whose plane went down over Papua New Guinea. Biden’s mention of cannibals in the region sparked criticism from Prime Minister Marape.

In a statement from his office, Marape expressed his disappointment with Biden’s remarks, stating that Papua New Guinea shouldn’t be depicted in such a negative light. He stressed that the country’s involvement in World War II was involuntary, and its people shouldn’t be associated with cannibalism.

Marape’s reaction to Biden’s comments comes at a time when China is looking to strengthen its influence in the region, making diplomatic ties with key allies like Papua New Guinea increasingly important.

The incident also coincides with a visit by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to Papua New Guinea, highlighting the significance of defense partnerships between the two nations. Albanese assured Papua New Guinea of Australia’s unwavering support and commitment to regional security.

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended Biden’s remarks, saying that he was honoring the bravery of his uncle and other U.S. service members. However, military records don’t support Biden’s claim that Finnegan’s plane was shot down; instead, it crashed into the ocean due to engine failure, according to Pentagon reports.

Marape used the opportunity to urge the U.S. to locate and repatriate the remains of World War II servicemen in Papua New Guinea, including those of Ambrose Finnegan. He highlighted the ongoing challenges faced by Papua New Guineans due to the remnants of war scattered across the country, such as unexploded bombs and wreckage.

Amid tensions over Biden’s remarks, Marape’s call for action from the U.S. underscores the importance of addressing historical legacies and honoring the sacrifices made during World War II in the Pacific region.

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