Hela tribal peace talks progressing well, says PNG official

7:54 pm on 16 January 2017

Reports from Papua New Guinea's Hela Province indicate peace talks between warring tribes are making headway.

ExxonMobil's LNG Project cuts a swathe of development through Hela province in PNG's Highlands.

ExxonMobil's LNG Project cuts a swathe of development through Hela province in PNG's Highlands. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The talks follow the deployment of 300 police and military personnel to the Highlands province after months of tribal fighting and a build-up of high-powered firearms.

Hela's deputy Governor Thomas Potabe said things were proceeding well, and fighting has cooled off in and around the provincial capital Tari, which was a particular hotspot.

He said an amnesty was in place for the tribes to surrender their guns by the end of February, and that local authorities would monitor this closely.

"We see that we will have a look at it and see what's happening on the day, and if there's no surrendering of those guns, they [tribes] will get arrested [and referred] in the national court, " Thomas Potabe said.

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