By MALINDA KALE
A POTENT mix of alcohol and ethnicity has left three people dead and more than 20 houses razed in the National Capital District’s 8-Mile settlement over the weekend.
Ethnic fighting started on Friday night after David Dew Kendiyo, who graduated from the University of PNG (UPNG) recently, was slashed to death in a drunken brawl.
The fighting and burning of houses continued until the next morning between Hela and Southern Highlands groups until police stepped in to quell the violence.
Kendiyo, from Southern Highlands’ Nipa, died at the Port Moresby General Hospital at midnight.
Police commander for the National Capital District and Central Acting Asst Comm Anthony Wagambie Jnr said police reinforcements under the command of Chief Insp Tapp Opai and Gordon police station commander Insp Mark Mosinakave were deployed to quell the violence.
He said several people were also injured and more than 20 houses were set ablaze in the early morning riot.
“Many innocent residents have been jolted by the violence”, he said.
“Police units from the Gordon police station, the Forensic Unit, CID and Mobile Squad personnel from McGregor Barracks were at the scene to control the violence and to conduct investigations.”
Wagambie appealed to the warring groups to abstain from further violence and allow police to investigate the deaths, injuries and destruction.
He also appealed to community leaders at the settlement to support police by identifying the perpetrators
“We will maintain a high police presence in the area.
“All must cease fighting,” he said.
Wagambi said such violence resulting in the loss of lives and properties could be easily avoided if everyone resorted to peaceful means to resolve differences.
Police have ordered bottle shops in the area to be closed indefinitely.
“We are also appealing to ethnic groups in other parts of the city not to take part in this feud,” he said.
“Just leave it to us to handle it.”