4 Dec 2006

State of emergency a possibility to quell tribal violence in PNG

9:24 pm on 4 December 2006

Papua New Guinea's director of police operations says if tribal fighting in the Western Highlands worsens he will recommend a state of emergency be declared in the province.

Fierce fighting between the Ulga and Kulga tribes in the Nebilyer district is affecting the people across Western, Enga and Southern Highlands provinces.

Tony Wagambie says the 30-year feud between the tribes escalated recently when the Ulgas murdered a Kulga pastor, triggering a cycle of retaliatory killings and destruction.

He says the Ulgas have been using their stronghold on the key highway into Mount Hagen to set up roadblocks to scan for their enemies, and are robbing the general public as well.

Mr Wagambie says the Kulgas have asked for more police to sent to stop the roadblocks.

"As from today or hopefully tomorrow when we get our logisitics together, we will be camping ten policemen in two sides down there where the illegal roadblocks are being put up, so that the police will be manning the roadblocks instead of the clansmen this time."


Tony Wagambie.