ETHNIC STRIFE CLAIMS BOY, MAN IN PNG SETTLEMENT

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By Clifford Faiparik and John Dau

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Aug. 20) - The
Nine-Mile settlement in Port Moresby is likely to be declared a fighting zone
today following the death of a man and a 12-year-old boy in yet another clash
between the Tari and Goilala people.

The boy was on his way to school yesterday morning when he was
ambushed and killed, apparently in retaliation to the death of a Tari man.

An angry NCD police commander Geoffrey Vaki said yesterday:
"I will declare this place a fighting zone and have the people come under
police control. This is a nation's capital and not a tribal warfare arena."

Vaki said the ethnic clash started when the Goilala people shot
and killed a man from Tari who was drinking with friends at about 4 a.m.
yesterday.

He said two people from the same attack were admitted to the
Port Moresby General Hospital with multiple stab wounds.

In retaliation, the Tari people killed the grade four student at
about 7 a.m. as he was going to school at the Bomana Top-up Primary School.

Vaki said "enough is enough" and it was time the
police controlled people who do not listen.

NCD assistant secretary for education Tau Nauna has suspended
classes for the school and its neighboring Evadahana Top up Primary school for
an indefinite period in fear of more attacks on innocent students. 

De La Salle and Marianville Secondary Schools are likely to
follow suit. These schools are located within the Nine-Mile area.

According to the Bomana teachers, the schoolboy from Goilala,
who lives at the Bomana Turf Club, was taking a short cut route to the school
when the Taris spotted him. 

"The Taris then shouted "em wanpela bilong ol, kilim
em" ("that's one of them, kill him") and chased him about 200
meters into the Morobe Block where they caught up with him. They then hit the
student on the head with an axe several times, causing his brains to spill
out. 

"After that, they wrapped him up in a bag and dumped his
body in a drain with his fingers chopped off. 

"The Taris also went into the Evadahana Top Up Primary
School looking for other Goilala students, causing the other students and
teachers to flee," a teacher said.

He said that after receiving the news at 10am during their
recess break, they started searching the surrounding bushes for the boy, only to
be told that his body had been recovered and taken to the Port Moresby General
Hospital.

August 20, 2003

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

 

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