Election-related fights affect Mendi town

National

By PETER WARI
People travelling into Mendi in Southern Highlands this week have been affected by fights believed to be between supporters of candidates.
Businesshouses and government services had temporarily closed their operations and subsistence farmers packed up and left bus-stop markets.
Others who managed to get out for shopping, have to fight for a space on PMVs to return home.
Southern Highlands police commander Chief Supt Sibron Papoto on Wednesday issued a stern warning to supporters of candidates not to bring offensive weapons into town.
He said the town was the provincial capital and a minority group was disturbing or disrupting traffic, innocent people businesses and services.
Lucy Jimmy, a mother of three and a regular second-hand goods seller, said the chaos in town forced her to pack her clothes every day and she did not make any money this week.
She said when there were fights or riots, criminals were taking advantage of the situation to grab-and-run.
“I am not the only one who has been affected, other second-hand goods and vegetable sellers at the market had made loses and they have also complained that their goods have been stolen by opportunists,” Jimmy said.
The security forces have set roadblocks at various locations leading into town.
Papoto said security was beefed up and they were ready to make sure counting would continue. He said a curfew from 6pm to 6am had been in force from Wednesday.

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