gamuga

Violence stops Hagen flights

Highlands

Air Niugini suspended all flights to Kagamuga International Airport in Western Highlands yesterday due to election-related unrest at the airport area.
The airline’s management in a statement said flights PX180, 182 and 186 did not operate as the situation was still tense.
“There is a sit-in protest at the airport area, blocking off access to the terminal building,” the statement said.
“Air Niugini is closely monitoring the situation and will advise as to when flights would resume. Yesterday’s flight in the morning was cancelled, while two afternoon flights operated as normal.
“All Sunday flights were cancelled.
“Passengers holding onto Air Niugini tickets can have them revalidated for the next available flight or to reroute via other Air Niugini ports to continue to Port Moresby.
“The airline regrets the inconvenience caused.
“The situation is beyond the airline’s control. Safety is always of paramount importance in Air Niugini’s operations.”
Mt Hagen city came to a standstill as Hagen open  candidates and their supporters march into the city to present a petition to Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato demanding that the 28 boxes set aside for Hagen open be counted.
They demanded the declaration of William Duma to be declared null and void.
Western Highlands election manager Philip Telape, when receiving the petition, told the candidates and their supporters that he would take the petition to Gamato to make a decision within 48 hours.
Police commander chief superintendent Martin Lakari, who was at the presentation of the petition, commended the leaders and people for a peaceful protest.
Shops, banks, the courts, government’s offices and other organisations closed yesterday.

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