Category Archives: Tribal Conflict

PM orders call-out expansion

August 18, 2017    
              Main Stories

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has ordered that the security call-out in Hela be expanded to address the unrest in Enga and Southern Highlands.

The call-out is allowed under the existing order for Hela, he said in a statement.
“Our patience has ended with troublemakers in both Enga and Southern Highlands,” O’Neill said.

“The call-out will enable defence and police personnel to work together to maintain order.

“There will be zero-tolerance for any further interruptions to law and order, and community safety.

“The behaviour we are witnessing by small groups is totally unacceptable and is impacting on the lives of men, women and children in these areas.”

O’Neill warned people seeking to cause disruptions that they would be arrested by the disciplined forces and tried for criminal acts.

He said the situation was so different to the relative calm experienced during the recent general election in the Highlands.

“Throughout the campaigning and voting periods, we saw a big change in attitude in these areas,” O’Neill said.

“It is disappointing that towards the end of counting, we are seeing this unruly behaviour. I call on community leaders to work with the disciplined forces, and help to prevent anti-social behaviour in your areas.”

The call-out for Hela early this year was to address the issue of illegal guns and tribal fights before the election process began.


Hela wants an end to illegal firearms

Villages hand over 9 to callout troops

LOCAL villagers in Hela who have had enough of gun toting criminals have rounded up 9 suspects involved in a recent murder to hand over to call-out troops in Tari.

On Tuesday, led by Tipa village chief and Hela election manager John Tipa, villagers of Munima, Tipa, Halengoali, Waralo Ula and Paibali said enough is enough of few gun toting criminals and they rounded up 9 suspects involved in murder of a young man in Tari town on the morning of the same day.


Tari Pori MP and Finance Minister James Marape who the day before during the call-out had called for his people to cooperate with police and military had praises for the majority of law abiding citizens who did not hide these criminals but assisted in chasing them down only hours after the murder took place.

“As Member for Tari Pori, I always believe in my people and our intrinsic values of our customs that has more goodwill than bad.”

“Hulis are forgiving, loving and caring people, but due to break down of the law and justice sector in Hela since 1997, the majority were fearful of few who had guns. Now with more police in Hela the tide is changing.”

Mr Marape said his long term solution is for immediate opening of Hawa CIS and for more than 500 new permanent police into Hela police structure.

“Before I was operating under the shadow of Governor Anderson Agiru and had to await his call on almost everything, today when he is not around I will take leadership not only for my district but Hela as a whole and restoring law and order stand as my number one priority”.


300 on mission to disarm and unite

THE National Government’s decision for the call-out operations in Hela Province has been received warmly by the people of Hela, especially those affected by tribal fights.

Hela Governor Francis Potape said from Tari that thousands of people from the three districts of Koroba-Kopiago, Komo-Magarima and Tari-Pori gathered as early as 7am to welcome and witness the launch of the call-out in Tari yesterday.

Mr Potape said the little town of Tari was filled with people and the atmosphere was peaceful and a relief for the people who have lived and moved around under constant threats.


He said the people were happy to see a huge presence of police and soldiers and those present were the Minister for Defence Dr Fabian Pok, Acting Police Commissioner Raphael Huafolo, Defence Commander of Opeations Colonel Numa, Minister Marape, Member for KorobaKopiago Philip Undialu and other top police and defence commanders.

Mr Potape said the message to the people was simple and that was for those in possession of guns to surrender to police their firearms within two months.

He said that the other message was for the warlords to also handover themselves voluntarily and allow peace negotiations and ceremonies, including the signing of agreements and compensation to follow later.

Mr Potape said most parts of the Highlands region have stopped tribal fights and the Hulia should also do the same.

“My message was simple and clear and that is if we stop tribal fights we can build Hela to be a city as we have the resources and the population. We have the potential to rise up, so I ask them to stop tribal fights and surrender all firearms,” he said.

He said he also announced his government’s decision to regulate tribal fights and compensation laws.

Mr Potape said tomorrow the members of the police and defence force will travel to Koroba to talk to the people.

He said they will also visit other areas like Komo, Hulia and Magarima to carry the same message appealing to the people to surrender firearms.

“As the Governor I welcomed the security forces to assist us, but my message is to stop the LNG police and increase police manpower in the province as we only have 120 personnel that is not enough for 300,000 people,” Mr Potape said.