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Tuesday 19 April 2016 | Published in Regional


PAPUA NEW GUINEA – Police in Papua New Guinea’s southern highlands province of Hela have warned public servants to refrain from inciting tribal fights.

Hela provincial police commander Superintendent Michael Welly made the warning after a senior public servant with the Hela Provincial Administration was involved in an ongoing tribal war near the district capital Koroba.

The fight has so far claimed five lives while unaccounted number of properties destroyed.

Supt Welly said the public servant led his fellow tribesmen on Monday on a manhunt and allegedly shot dead three men who were having a swim at a village in North Koroba.

He said the public servant and his men from South Koroba also seriously injured one other.

Supt Welly said he had deployed the Tari-based police mobile squad unit to the fighting zone.

With the support from local Koroba police, the unit is protecting state buildings and other properties at Koroba in case the northern warriors attack the government station.

Police have blamed public servants for inciting the ongoing feud adding that as government employees should be supporting police and discourage people from taking up arms.

Several public servants were also involved in a recent fight near Tari town, Supt Welly added.

“The last thing I as the Hela police commander want to see is public servants inciting their tribesmen to take up arms and kill each other.

“We have public servants in Hela who think and act like any other ordinary villagers and go to the extreme of inciting tribal warfare.

“This is truly sad for the new province as it is not the way public servants should behave,” Supt Welly said.

He said the Koroba senior public servant will be arrested and charged his and others identities are known to the police.

- Post-Courier