Call to cease violence in Hela


UNITED Nations (UN) resident coordinator Gianluca Rampolla has called for an immediate cessation of violence in Hela.
“This senseless violence must stop now before more innocent people are killed, wounded or displaced,” he said.
“The United Nations stands by the Hela government to provide for the immediate needs of those affected by the fighting.”
Rampolla appealed to the PNG Defence Force and police to assist the mediation efforts of the provincial government to ensure the safety and security of the affected communities.
“Stopping the spiral of violence requires holding to account and bringing to justice the perpetrators and providing for the immediate needs of those affected, especially women and children,” he said.
Rampolla said the recent events reminded everyone of the need to invest into ensuring long-term development to achieve peace.
UN staff from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) joined a team from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Tari on Saturday to verify information on the number of persons displaced, injured and killed to assist in providing for immediate needs.
Governor Philip Undialu indicated that urgent support was needed for temporary shelters, emergency food and water, and non-food items such as hygiene and dignity kits, and kitchen and bedding items.
“We welcome Undialu’s mediation efforts and are encouraged by the news that the parties have agreed to lay down arms and engage in dialogue,” Rampolla said.
“The UN in partnership with the Hela government is committed to supporting peace building and development in the province through the Highlands Joint Programme.”

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