2 killed in Huon fights

National, Normal

The National, Friday 16th December 2011

FIGHTING in a remote part of Huon Gulf in Morobe has left two people dead.
Morobe’s acting provincial police commander Chief Insp David Warap feared more atrocities would follow if law and order was not restored during the festive season.
He said a mineral exploration company working on the border of Morobe and Oro airlifted police from Bulolo to carry out preliminary investigations.
Warap said funding to get the police into the area was a problem, although the provincial government, through the office of the deputy governor, had helped.
He said the fighting was over land. Gangs from Pagau, Kumusi and Gene attacked villagers of wards three, four, five and six, including Gunumapia and Bubu in the Ono local level government.
Warap said the first death was caused by a group from remote Pagau village which raided Garawaria village and murdered a man.
He said the group terrorised villagers and sexually assaulting women, stole pigs, destroyed garden foods and carried out arson and robberies.
Warap said the group was involved in the killing of a community health worker recently.
When police left, the villagers calling themselves “freedom fighters” launched an offensive against their attackers and killed one.
Warap said the lack of police resources in attending to such incidents in the area as well as at Garaina has prompted villagers to take the law into their own hands.
“Because of lack of funding, there has been no police response but the office of the deputy governor (and Waria LLG president Morokai Gaiwata) has stepped in with an assistance of K20,000. Unfortunately our approach to expand the investigation has not been successful,” he said.
He appealed to the provincial government to assist police conduct investigation and arrest suspects.
There are no police personnel at Morobe Patrol Post, although police houses, station and the rural lock-up had been renovated early this year.
Meanwhile in Madang, police are looking for a man  who diverted money earmarked for the maintenance of an airstrip in the remote Saidor district.
Police said the Nankina airstrip maintenance programme was given K20,000 and the contract was awarded to Warowun Primary School.
A total of K10,000 was used for the purpose but the other half did not reach the school.
The report said there were two bank cheques made to a person (named), from within Madang, who has no connection to the school.
The suspect is thought to have colluded with people working with the Department of Works in Madang.