29 Aug 2007

Peace restored after tribal fighting in Mt Hagen in PNG

7:31 pm on 29 August 2007

Peace has been restored in the Papua New Guinea Highlands town of Mt Hagen after a street battle between two local tribes earlier this week.

A school, several shops, and the national court house had to be closed after the clans started throwing stones over an alleged pack rape.

Rape and sexual violence are widespread in PNG, and women are often the victims of tribal feuds.

The principal clerk at the National Court in Mount Hagen, Maria Kungil, says the incidents were very disturbing, but peace talks are now taking place.

"There was so much disturbance, throwing stones from both sides at each other. So there was a supreme court sitting, this is very important. It really disturbed the court. So the supreme court had to stop [the hearing]. The supreme court is now continuing [to sit] anyway, because both tribes are negotiating for a peace settlement."

Maria Kungil, from the National Court in Mount Hagen.

Police say the situation is now under control and security has been restored.