Fears PNG tribal tensions could erupt into combat

3:17 pm on 25 April 2017

An electoral office in Papua New Guinea's Enga province has been moved as fears mount that tribal tensions could erupt into combat.

Yahoma, Kandep Valley, Enga Province, Papua New Guinea

Yahoma, Kandep Valley, Enga Province, Papua New Guinea Photo: Supplied

The Kompiam returning officer, Beto Pokale, told the Post Courier that the office has been moved to Wabag town, some 40 kilometres away.

Mr Pokale said the decision to relocate was made because of fears election rivalries may spark clashes between the Yawan and Tinalapin tribes.

In recent weeks, there have been as many as 25 killings, government offices have been closed and outsiders evacuated from the district.

Mr Pokale said police tried to ease tensions but high-powered firearms had been smuggled in from nearby Sepik province.

He said he, and his four staff, have relocated to Wabag, where intending candidates can nominate in safety until Thursday.

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