Monday, September 3, 2012

War zones in Kandep, Porgera districts

Source: Home News, Post Courier, September 3, 2012
TWO districts of Kandep and Porgera in Enga province will be declared fighting zones, Enga Governor Peter Ipatas said last week.
Governor Ipatas also reignited the call for the ban of firearms in the country as he was very critical of police lack of action in the province in restoring peace.
The Enga Governor said he had asked the provincial peace and good order committee to convene an urgent meeting early next week to declare the two districts of Kandep and Porgera as fighting zones.
He said the use of guns is prevalent in most of the fights and asked from where the villagers are getting their guns and ammunition.
He alleged that the leaders are the ones behind the purchase of guns and ammunitions for their people.
“Most of the villagers are fully armed and because of that they are so powerful but the ultimate price is death.”
“A lot of killings are not by bows and arrows but with guns.”
Mr Ipatas said police can do the job in restoring law and order but there is no efficiency on the ground.
“Every time there is trouble police are needing money to move in - but why? Didn’t they take an oath to protect property and lives. Why should they always asked for money?”
Mr Ipatas said there was also no need for a state of emergency because it will be the same police who are going to be paid allowances to do the job that they can do now to restore normalcy.
“If the police are not doing their job then some heads must roll including that of the Police Commissioner, Provincial Police Commander and whoever is in charge over the police.”
Mr Ipatas said there is a big police presence in Porgera but they cannot contain the situation on the ground.
“This is not guerilla warfare. It is a tribal war that must be contained by police.”
Mr Ipatas said he will be organising a trip with the police, Barrick and government officials to fly into Porgera next week to assess the situation.
“We leaders can be talking all day but at the end of the day it is the responsibility of police to restore law and order,” Mr Ipatas said.

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