4 Oct 2010

PNG locals concerned at build-up of guns

11:58 am on 4 October 2010

Locals in the Kandep district of Papua New Guinea's Enga Province have voiced concern about an arms build-up in the area.

The Post Courier reports that since 2003, 75 people have died in gun battles in Kandep as a result of tribal conflicts while public buildings, food gardens, cash crops and homes have been destroyed.

Reports also indicate that many people are still nursing serious injuries on local herbal medicine as all health centres were destroyed during fighting.

A group of concerned locals has called on the Government to immediately declare a state of emergency in the volatile area.

The group has reported that there's an arms build-up in the outlying areas of the district.

However their claim that an estimated 300 high-powered guns are in the hands of warring factions has been rejected by Enga provincial Police Commander Martin Lakari.

He says that recently deployed mobile police have contained all tribal fighting.