Displaced settlers await answers

National, Normal

A SPOKESMAN for displaced Sepik settlers in Bulolo, Morobe, has called on the national government to specify whether they will be repatriated or resettled.
“The government should tell us whether it is going to be repatriation or resstlement,” Bulolo urban settlements’ spokesman Aliyama Vauri said.
Over a week ago,Vauri, who was in Port Moresby seeking justice for the affected settlers, said they wanted to be compensated for their homes that were razed due to the dispute which started in last May.
“Razing our homes was illegal,” he said.
“We have already served notice on the government under the constitution.
“We served it on Sept 6 and 31 days have already passed.
“There should have been an out-of-court settlement but, since this has not happened, we will take out a writ of summons against the state, giving them 14 days by law to talk with us.”
Vauri said 5,000-plus people had been affected and more than 600 homes were razed.
He said after alleged criminal activities, the locals razed homes of suspects at Mondox, Simen Bris and Maguru settlements.
The next day, despite police assurance of safety, more houses were razed.
There was a temporary respite until Aug 22 when trouble flared up again, resulting in all the Sepik houses razed.
Vauri said facilities at the care centre were unhygienic and displaced settlers received only K100 each for repatriation.
He said a complaint had been lodged with police public complaints unit and the Ombudsman Commission.