By REBECCA KUKU
Hela governor Philip Undialu has called on the government to approve the Hela police structure after 15 people were killed in a tribal fight in Tari.
Undialu said Hela police were still using the Southern Highlands district structure and needed more manpower.
“Fifteen people have been killed in the Tari-Hides area, the corridors of the LNG project, and the case is becoming serious,” Undialu said.
“Police can’t continue to act as mediators and must start enforcing the arm of law by arresting the ring leaders.”
Undialu said that although he understood they were using high-powered weapons in the tribal fight, making it impossible for leaders or police to intervene, something had to done.
“It is an attitude problem, people with guns are turning into heroes and just killing each other for fame.”
Undialu said the callout operation for the guns amnesty was still in place but tribal fight was still going on.
“There is a 35-man platoon of PNG Defence Force on the ground too, and they must work with the police to enforce the arm of the law and arrest the ring leaders to stop the fight.”
Undialu said the administration was working to open the Hawa Jail as soon as possible so that people breaking the law could be detained there.
“The jail has already been opened but we are waiting for Correctional Service officers to arrive, as soon as they do the jail will be operating again.”
There are three different tribal fights in Hela since general election, with the main one in the Tari and Hides area where 15 people have been killed so far, bringing the total of tribal fight-related deaths to 26 in the recent months.
By REBECCA KUKU