Two dead as 100 clash in ethnic conflict in PNG capital

Picture: RNZ

PORT MORESBY, 06 AUGUST 2018 (THE NATIONAL) – Two people died, three homes were burnt and a gun confiscated after police rounded up two warring parties involved in a tribal fight at the Morata settlement in Port Moresby on Saturday.

National Capital District Metropolitan Superintendent Perou N’dranou told The National that more than 100 men, originally from Goroka in Eastern Highlands and Wabag in Enga and now living in the Morata,were fighting over a piece of land.

Police escorted them along the new Gerehu-9-Mile road to the Gerehu police station.

He said the fight had been going on for almost two weeks. It started from a fight between two men over a piece of land used for gardening.

Others joined and took sides. Two people died.

On Saturday morning, “three houses were burnt and police confiscated one of the six guns used in the fighting”, N’dranou said.

He has urged the leaders of the two groups to surrender those involved in the killing.

“Such tribal fighting should be left in the village and not brought into the city,” he said.

He warned them that police would not entertain compensation mediation and that they should let the law take its course.

Meanwhile, National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop has expressed disgust over the loss of lives and properties in two incidents in Port Moresby at the weekend, saying: “we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot”.

“I am absolutely disgusted by this senseless loss of lives and destruction by a few who continue to hold our nation and our people back,” he said.

“The loss of lives and subsequent destruction of properties is inexcusable and absolutely unnecessary. I grieve for the loss of life and properties destroyed. But I grieve more for our nation and our people. We continue to shoot ourselves in the foot by our stupidity, low or lack of values and poor attitude.

“Nothing seems to be sacred any more. If we can’t respect the sanctity of life and just take it at the flimsy of excuse we have a long way to go to be a greater nation.”

At Hohola on Saturday, 12 houses were allegedly torched by soldiers following the alleged stabbing to death of a colleague.

With 97 days to go before Port Moresby hosts the 2018 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting to be attended by world leaders, Parkop said it was sad to see military officers involved in one of the incidents.

“That it involved our military personnel again says a lot about the progress, or lack of progress, we have made in the past 43 years (of independence),” he said.

“I condemn the senseless loss of life and properties. I equally condemn the killing and destruction last week at Mosquito Street in Morata.”

He called on all involved to restore peace as soon as possible.

“I appeal to our city residents to stop this type of backward nonsense and to do their part to contribute to our effort to make our city a greater and better one for ourselves and for generations to come,” he said.

“I thank the police for their intervention to protect lives and properties. I expect them to continue their investigation to ensue those who caused the loss of lives and properties are arrested and brought to justice,” he said.

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