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Chimbu’s Yongomugl tribesmen dissatisfied with relief fund

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 6, 2011) - Angry tribesmen in Chimbu’s Yongomugl area have completely destroyed a state-owned truck on Tuesday because they were reportedly dissatisfied with the disbursement of disaster relief funds.

[PIR editor’s note: Malum Nalu reported in July that more than 200 families from three major clans in Yongomugl, Chimbu, were displaced by a major landslip. Numerous clans lost homes, coffee trees, garden produce, and animals worth thousands of kina.]

The tribesmen including irate youths physically smashed a tipper truck owned and operated by the Yongomugl Local Level Government and pushed it off the Highlands Highway into a deep gorge at Ku village, six kilometers east of Kundiawa, the provincial capital. Two Government officers, Joanis Kola and Vitus Bula, who arrived in Ku to make the payments, were also attacked but managed to escape.

Mr. Kola and Mr. Bula said they have dished out 15,000 kina [US$6,700] to the Gena, Kindiku and Sunagauma sub-clans when ‘a handful of drunks took the law into their own hands’. They said the other 9,000 kina [US$4,009] would still be paid to the other three sub-clans (Egu, Damaku and Sumbuku).

The two officers disclosed that Sinasina/Yongomugl MP and Parliament Speaker Jeffrey Nape has initially allocated 50,000 kina [US$22,300] for a major landslide in the Ku area.

They said of that allocation, 24,000 kina [US$10,700] was earmarked for disbursement to the affected landowner clans while the balance was expended on administration which included allowance, airfares, hotel accommodation the landslide disaster.

Police arrived in Ku village yesterday and picked up 23 suspects in relation to the attack.

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