Court jails 12 over ethnic clash in Markham

The National, Tuesday July 12th, 2016

TWELVE people have been jailed for four and five years for their part in the Markham ethnic clash that left 10 people dead and several injured three months ago.
Morobe commander Supt Augustine Wampe yesterday said nine people were jailed for having in their possession two hand-grenades at Mutzing during a roadblock last month.
Three were arrested over the killing of 10 Amari men on April 21 and another three for allegedly starting the fight that led to the loss of lives in May.
The fight that caused havoc in the Umi-Atzera local level government area three months ago started as a result of an argument over a can of soft drink.
“The nine suspects in possession of the hand grenades were each sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by the Ramu District Court. They are at Madang’s Beon jail,” Wampe said.
“The students, who were charged with starting the fight, were found guilty by the court and were each sent to four years, three months (in prison) by the court,” he said.
Wampe said the other three people arrested were on trial.
Wampe said police investigations had hit a snag lately as people were not coming forward with information to assist police.
“As we wind down our special operations in the affected areas, we still have some more arrests to make,” Wampe said.
“We will have a meeting with the district administration to map out where we go from here.
“We are willing to stay on for another three weeks before we pack up and leave the area.”
Wampe said police would need another K100,000 to continue for the next three weeks.
He said the money would be used to pay for fuel, hiring of vehicles and allowances for the policemen involved in the operations.
Wampe said he was pleased that peace was restored and people were now going about doing their daily activities.
However, he said the Atzera people were still fearful of a possible retaliation by the Amari people given that they had lost many lives during the confrontation.