Businessman initiates peace talks to end dispute

Momase, Normal

The National

MORE than 10,000 people, displaced and scattered all over Papua New Guinea by one of the longest tribal fight in Western Highlands province.
Some had felt safe to return home after six years following peace overtures at the weekend.
The Rundi and Kimka tribes of the Hagen North area decided on peace talks during a thanksgiving reception in Madang lastSaturday organised by businessman Stanley Pil.
About 500 people attended the function and discussed peace after fighting with success over the big Gumanch coffee plantation in 2004.
More than 20 people were killed and more than 10,000 people were displaced, seeking refuge in Goroka, Lae, Port Moresby and Madang.
Mr Pil said many people had lost their identity and origin and it was about time to take their people back home.
He said his people had also lost their cultural origins and belongings to a community and tribal society after being displaced by the fight.
However, Mr Pil said they were not looking back to the past but would focus on living harmoniously with their foes and restore peace.
He said as part of the initiative, each working class man and woman from the tribe could contribute K2,000 each to the association’s account that was formed to repatriate and settled the people on their home land.
“The people have lost so much and many children have missed out on going to school,” he said.