Police mount special op to end tribal fighting

National

By Gynnie Kero
POLICE in Kimbe, West New Britain, are mounting a special operation into the Talasea local level government area to  end several months of unrest caused by warring clans.
Police Commissioner Gari Baki, in a meeting with clan leaders and councilors, issued a stern warning to all those whose names were listed for bench warrants. He said they must surrender to the police before November 13.
The meeting was organised by Talasea LLG president Victor Narere and his deputy Mathias Loi which brought together Bakovi leaders who spoke of being tired of fighting and opting for peace.
The meeting at the Talasea LLG yesterday was attended by NGI divisional commander Anton Billy and PPC Jim Namora.
Baki said if parents harbour their children, they would be arrested and locked up in the cells.
He said police were instructed to shoot any suspects or persons interfering with the special police operation codenamed Operation Bakovi Storm.
Baki said there would be firearms amnesty during the operation for them to surrender any firearms and ammunition. He would be seeking Police Minister Jelta Wong’s approval for the amnesty.
Different clans of the Bakovi Tribe of Talasea LLG have been fighting against one another with several killings, burning down of houses and destruction of properties forcing some villagers to flee and seek refuge elsewhere.
This had also affected Talasea High School teachers and students, with reduced numbers going for classes and many grade 10 students not sitting for thefinal examinations.
Baki described this as a backward step for the Bakovi people and made a strong call for all the people to cooperate and put an end to the conflict.
He will be holding another meeting with the councillors, clan leaders, including the president and deputy on November 13 to follow up on the progress of the operation.
Meanwhile, all clan representatives have agreed for the special police operation because they want peace and normalcy to be restored to the Bakovi tribe of 157 clans who make up the Talasea LLG.

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