Papuan New Guinea has sworn in an African to its Supreme and National Court benches.

Oagile Key Dingake from Botswana is the first African judge in PNG.

Justice Dingake told local media his interest in taking up the role stemmed from the similar values that PNG and Botswana share as former British colonies.

He said his prime focus was human rights, adding that he had read up the PNG constitution.

“Which entrenches human rights, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, some values that we share, both Papua New Guinea and Botswana. So those are similarities, and I hope I’ll be able to execute my duties as faithfully as the oath of office requires.”

Oagile Key Dingake’s appointment comes after PNG’s Chief Justice this week said the judiciary was critically short on judges.

Sir Salamo Injia said they needed around 80 more judges to deal with the number of cases before the courts.

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