Friday, November 23, 2012

Polye and Manase urged to stop tribal war

Friday 23rd November 2012

Treasury Minister Don Polye and lawyer Alfred Manase are being urged to return to Kandep immediately and fix up the chaos in the electorate.
The two leaders are wanted by police, the Enga provincial government and the people of Kandep to return and broker peace among the election related warring tribes and enable government services to flow into the remote electorate.
Government services ceased following the voting during this year’s elections. All schools, health services and other government services closed down and staff fled as tribal clashes erupted sporadically all over the electorate. The closures remain as of Wednesday when the Post-Courier and Highlands Divisional Police Commander Teddy Tei visited the district.
A fight between Mr Polye’s and Mr Manase’s supporters in the Marend LLG, which allegedly involves over 36 council wards, has so far resulted in an unconfirmed 50 deaths, according to Kandep police.
Chief Tei who supported the call for the two leaders to come home, also called on the Enga provincial government to dispatch a Peace and Good Order Committee into the area immediately to prevent further killings and destruction.
One of Enga province’s pride, the multi-million kina Kandep wheat factory, was razed to the ground when election related violence erupted in Muiyan. A nearby tribe attacked tribes around the wheat facility and killed four men and burnt down the factory, administration building and several staff houses.
The wheat factory, opened in 2001 when Jimson Sauk was the local MP, and was established by the Chinese government and run by Chinese experts till its burning down. Two new vehicles used by the officers were also burnt down. Warriors equipped with homemade guns, bush knives and bows and arrows were at the scene when this reporter arrived.
The project produced wheat during its early stages but gradually got run down as funding ceased to come from the national government to sustain its operations, in some instances, funds were diverted elsewhere.
Had it not been for Enga police’s quick action in the area following the declaration of Polye as MP, many other public installations would have been destroyed. Thirty officers from Wabag were sent in and are still camped there.
ACP Tei met local leaders at the Kandep station and gauged their views on the situation on the ground and supported the call from the people of Kandep to have Polye and Manase return to initiate and broker peace.

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