21 Aug 2006

Port Moresby police confident transport services back to normal on Tuesday

7:14 pm on 21 August 2006

Authorities in the Papua New Guinea capital, Port Moresby, expect public transport services to return to normal on Tuesday after most buses and taxis were pulled off the road last Thursday.

That move came after a Western Highlands man was killed, allegedly by a Southern Highlands clan.

This sparked more violence, with reports of further killings, prompting the Western Highlanders to stop running their buses and taxis citing safety concerns.

The Capital District police commander, Tony Wagambie, says they have been unable to make any arrests so far.

He says both groups have presented police with petitions.

"One says that police have to carry on doing their job, which has been done. And I said we are not God, we don't know who did what, we need witnesses and we need information - that's from the Western Highlands people who run the buses. One other demand was for authorities to remove people from vending in public parking areas and so forth - this one we have done already, as of last Thursday."

Mr Wagambie says the Western Highlanders also called for leaders of both clans to meet for talks and repatriate the bodies of the dead - he says this is yet to happen.