Do away with tribal fights


WHAT can possibly be the justification for slaying human beings?
Truth is, there is absolutely none!
Tribal warfare especially in the Highlands has taken on a dangerous new meaning and dimension.
Where there was at least respect for lives of people not directly involved in conflict, there is no longer any rule of warfare applicable.
The common criminals running amok with semi-automatic weapons are a sorry excuse for their once disciplined, proud and brave warriors who fought in defence of territory, life and property.
Killings not only in Hela or the Highlands but now in Madang has gone on as if there is no police and criminal justice system that is capable of mediating in and resolving conflicts amicably.
The days of warriors seeking out and attacking their equal are gone.
Those tribal warriors are today replaced by senseless murderers pre-dating their ancestors in mentality but armed with 21st century weaponry.
That is a horrific combination indeed and a recipe for the violence we are experiencing and hearing of at the moment.
In days gone it had been warrior versus warrior and never innocent children and women who at times were booty taken alive if at all necessary.
The continuous killing of people for the crime of belonging to an enemy clan or tribe should not be allowed to continue.
If permitted to drag on or escalate further, the warfare will certainly affect investments in the province’s rich hydrocarbon resources.
Much is at stake, including the ExxonMobil led PNG LNG project installations in Hela.
We now have 100 police preparing for a major swoop on Enga to restore law and order.
There are soldiers on the State-owned enterprise call-out still in operation between Hela, Southern Highlands and Enga.
The call out was in December 2016 to quell tribal fighting in Hela and was later extended to Southern Highlands and Enga to address law and order issues in 2017 for the National General Election.
The call out was than extended when the 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck near Mt Bosavi at the borders of Southern Highlands and Hela in 2018.
It was initially supposed to end in June, 2019, but was extended following the massacre of women and children in Hela.
The call-out was scheduled to end on Dec 31 however troops are still there.
PNGDF Commander Gilbert Toropo has made a conscious decision to remain due to existing violence in Hela.
Hela Governor Philip Undialu is talking with the PNGDF and may possibly ask for some platoons to remain in the province with the provincial government covering the costs.
Obviously, this is money that would be better spent on development initiatives for the benefit of the entire province.
Instead it will be used for the deployment of police and military personnel, logistics and arms to bring under control and hopefully end the hostilities between the warring tribes.
Already women and children have been caught in the battles.
School children have been prevented from attending classes; sick people in need of medical attention could not do so; and properties have been destroyed which would take months or years replacing.
In some parts there would be food shortages as gardens would have been destroyed also in the prolonged conflicts.
The cycle of violence that has been allowed to drag on for this long does not bode well for investment in the provinces and the country.
The on-going criminal activities, misconstrued as tribal fights certainly has no place in this Government’s policies to realise its dreams.