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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 19) - Police in the Papua New Guinea province of Chimbu are attempting to negotiate a peace agreement between several warring tribes.

Chief superintendent, Samson Mapi, says it’s believed up to five people have died in the Kundiawa/Gembogol district in post-election fighting while three have been killed in the Gumine districts.

30 police officers have been sent to a battlefield near Kamanku and another twelve are camped at the scene of other tribal fighting while both districts have been declared fighting zones.

Chief superintendent Mapi says he’s hopeful a peace agreement can be reached.

"One of those areas we should be able to sort it out before the new year...the others, one of the tribes in Kundiawa, we are trying to bring in the leaders by the end of this week for them to sign the peace settlement. There is already some signal to the police up there that we have to do this quickly because people are dying there".

Mapi says they’ve arrested a chief from Kundiawa and charged him with wilful murder after he stomped to death a rival chief in town at the end of last week.

December 19, 2002

For additional reports from Radio New Zealand International, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio New Zealand International.

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