TWO MORE DIE IN PNG ENGA CONFLICT

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By James Apa Gumuno

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Jan. 8) - Two more people have been killed as a tribal fight continues in Wapenamanda, Enga province.

The fight involves members of the Lipin and Sundak clans at the Rakamanda village.

Yesterday’s deaths bring to 15 the total number of people killed since the fight started two weeks ago.

Properties amounting to tens of thousands of kina have also been destroyed.

Acting Provincial Police Commander Senior Inspector Thomas Korhan yesterday said many people have also been injured and have traveled out of the area to seek medication.

Mr Korhan said police were sent in yesterday and are camping at the Rakamanda Catholic Station. Police would be there for some time to ensure fighting does not spread to the neighboring villages and, hopefully, help quell the tension.

The provincial peace and good order committee, chaired by Governor Peter Ipatas, declared the area a fighting zone just after Christmas. The declaration would stay effective for the next three months.

"I appeal to the warring clans to lay down their arms and let police and other law enforcing agencies deal with the matter.

"Continuous fighting would only result in more lives lost and properties destroyed," Senior Inspector Korhan said.

Fighting started when an alleged raid by the Lipin people on the Sundaks two days before Christmas left eight people dead.

In Porgera, quick action by police on Tuesday prevented a tribal fight from developing further.

January 8, 2004

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

 

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