Six dead in row over disputed land

Tuesday May 15, 2018 Written by Published in Regional

PAPUA NEW GUINEA – As many as six people have reportedly been killed in renewed tribal fighting in Papua New Guinea’s Highlands province of Enga during the weekend.

Reports from the Highlands said the fighting occurred at the weekend between Amala and Teremanda villagers on the outskirts of Wabag town.

Enga police commander George Kakas said there may be more casualties on both sides that they were not aware of.

A police vehicle was also burnt after villagers accused police of protecting the other warring faction.

The fighting tribes previously exchanged hostilities during last year’s lengthy general election when they became embroiled in a dispute over the vote count for Enga’s Kandep seat.

Dozens of people were killed in that fighting which involved high-powered weapons

“This fighting between the Kala tribe of Teremanda village and the Kii tribe from Amala is related to the Kandep open seat dispute,” Kakas said.

The latest violence comes ahead of this week’s scheduled court hearing of an election petition relating to the Kandep result.

Former MP Don Polye has lodged the petition against the new MP, Civil Aviation minister Alfred Manase.

Kakas said police managed to control and stop the fighting last year during the election but this time the fight restarted over disputed land.

“The Kala tribe from Amala village is on the fringes of Wabag town and adjacent to that is the Teremanda village where the Kii tribe comes from and between them is disputed land,” Kakas said.

Kakas said some Teremanda women started making gardens on the disputed land.

“They were spotted by a man from the Amala village who then spread the word to his tribesmen and they came back with arms to chase away the women,” he said.

However, Kakas said they were ambushed by Kala tribe men who gunned them down.

Kakas said the situation was tense and the two tribes were attacking the public travelling on the road, leading to the Porgera gold mine.

In another part of the Hoghlands, one woman is dead and another two are in a critical condition after being tortured on Friday over sorcery allegations.

The women were tortured in the Kewabi area of Southern Highlands province after angry villagers accused them of using sorcery to kill a man in the village.

The three woman, aged between 30 and 40, were tied-up and placed on top of a heated aluminium sheet.

An eye witness said they were repeatedly tortured while being interrogated about the role they were accused of playing in the man’s death.

He said police were unable to intervene at the time.

The three women were later taken to hospital in the provincial capital Mendi.       

            - PNC

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