Former Papua New Guinea prime minister Michael Somare has died in Port Moresby aged 84.
Somare was PNG’s first prime minister following the nation’s independence in 1975 and was known as the Grand Chief and father of the nation.
He died early on Friday morning after being diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer, the ABC reported, quoting a family statement.
“Sadly, pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive cancers that are rarely detected early. We as a family had only two weeks to look for possible treatments for our father,” a statement from his daughter Betha Somare said.
“Sir Michael was a loyal husband to our mother and great father first to her children, then grandchildren and great granddaughter.
He had other stints as leader, serving a total of 17 years in that role before retiring from politics in 2017.