‘Uneasy Calm’ In PNG’s Mount Hagen After Student Rampage

admin's picture

‘Uneasy Calm’ In PNG’s Mount Hagen After Student Rampage Tensions high in Highlands city after recent deaths

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 24, 2015) – An uneasy calm existed last night in the third largest city Mount Hagen as high school students rampaged earlier in the day over the death of a fellow student in a roadside accident.

Community leaders and local councillors of the Moge Komunka tribe of Western Highlands Province appealed for peace to be restored between them and Goroka, Eastern Highlands settlers in the city.

This follows the latest clash on Monday between the two groups following the death of a Goroka man during the second televised State of Origin rugby league match last Wednesday near Warakum in Mt Hagen. So far, three deaths have been reported with many injuries and destruction to properties in the city.

The three deaths included a Grade 12 student of Mt Hagen Secondary School who was reportedly hit and killed by a motor vehicle while on his way to school on Monday. The student is believed to be from Goroka and the death was blamed on the recent clash between the Moge and the Goroka settlers.

The death prompted fellow students from Mt Hagen Secondary School to go on rampage, causing destruction to the main Mt Hagen market and several shops in the city before police intervened and controlled the crowd.

Western Highlands Provincial Police Commander Superintendent Martin Lakari confirmed the ethnic clashes yesterday, saying the reason for the Monday fight is not known but the police believed it was a spillover from last Wednesday night’s fight where one person was killed. "We have confirmed deaths of three people including the Grade 12 student," Supt Lakari said.

"But police is yet to confirm the rumors that three University of Goroka students have also been killed and that two elderly people including two elderly women reportedly killed."

He expressed his sympathy to those who have lost loved ones in this meaningless and senseless violence and called on those involved to allow appropriate government authorities and law enforcing agencies to deal with it. "We ask for calm in Mt Hagen and also ask the general public and those who witnessed the death to report the matter to police to assist them in their investigations," Supt Lakari added.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment