Ethnic fights threaten public peace

Normal, Papua

The National –Monday January 10, 2011


NATIONAL Capital District police operations boss Jim Namora is appealing to respective leaders of different ethnic groups in the city to be mindful of the public when dealing with their problems. 

Namora made the appeal after police was contacted to attend to an ethnic clash at 9-Mile outside Port Moresby last Friday morning. 

He said continuous ethnic clashes and violence in the city had really drained and stretched the limited resources police in NCD had, adding also that other people’s lives could be endangered during such incidents. 

“These clashes are part of the culture and ethnicity of people especially from people in the Highlands region who are used to living and working together in clans or tribes. 

“And whether we like it or not, this practice is here to stay,” he said.  

Similar sentiments were shared by NCD metropolitan commander Supt Joseph Tondop. 

“There are no quick fixes to address ethnic clashes and violence, however, awareness will be looked into to educate people on the importance of the law and how it can be trusted to bring justice on perpetrators who break the law. 

He added that there were no specific strategies to fully address such law and order issues coupled with the lack of manpower and resources. 

“Police must, however, have the capacity to respond immediately to restore order among fighting groups. 

“We cannot afford to give excuses anymore,” Tondop said. 

Since the New Year, there had been several clashes in the nation’s capital, however, quick police response had reduced the number of casualties and damage to property.