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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Sept. 30) – The Jika Milakamb tribe living near Mount Hagen in Papua New Guinea paid K26,920 (US$9,098) in cash, along with 24 pigs, as "bel kol" – reconciliation payment - to the nearby Moge Komonga tribe yesterday.

The payment was to prevent a tribal war following the murder of a Moge man by Milakamb tribesmen during the early hours of Sunday morning in Mount Hagen.

The deceased, Caspar Putt, 35, was married with five children.

Jika leader Micheal Pundia thanked the Moge tribe for setting a good example by not retaliating and also releasing two youths taken hostage on Sunday.

He said that such killing usually lead to tribal fighting but the Moges kept their promise to maintain peace and harmony.

Moge chief leader Andrew Dokta said that they have made a contract with God a decade ago to live peacefully and not get involved in tribal fighting and criminal activities.

He said that they have money and pigs, but for the sake of peace and unity, they accepted the "bel kol" payment.

The Moge leaders asked the other suspects still on the run to be handed over to the police. So far two suspects have been arrested and are currently in police custody.

Cr Manapi assured the Moges that they would apprehend the suspects to the police.

Metropolitan Superintendent Theodore Muriki said Criminal Investigation Officers would interrogate the two suspects, and appropriate charges would be laid against them soon.

He commended the leaders for settling the matter peacefully.

October 1, 2004

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/



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