Fighting ends

National, Normal

The National , Tuesday, May 31, 2011

PEACE has finally been restored after a tribal war in the Usa and Wabi Sumi areas of Southern Highlands’ Kagua district.
The fights were contained by police and the district and provincial peace mediation teams and a few local educated elite.
Peace negotiations are still underway, with the warriors looking forward to signing peace agreements.
The recent fight in Usa, involving hundreds of warriors from the Kandine and Mui tribes, erupted over the death of a public servant.
Numerous calls by peace makers and law enforcers fell on deaf ears as warriors refused to lay down their arms, resulting in the death of 14 people, and thousands of kina worth property destroyed.
Peace mediating team leader Jeffrey Ahmadi said the Wake-Lakira, who had been involved in another fight last year in the neighbouring Wabi Sumi area, then took sides with the Kandine, while the Pawa Yamo joined the Mui tribesmen.
On April 25 and 26, police and the peace mediating team, accompanied by the neighbouring  Uma tribesmen went into the war zone to discourage the warriors from fighting but those calls were not heeded, he said.
He said community leaders, the peace mediation team and law enforcement agencies realised peace had to be restored and again visited the battlefield as neutrals.
This time, the warriors decided to a ceasefire and agreed for the law to take over, he said.
In the previous fight in the neighbouring Wabi Sumi area last year, Ahmadi said 18 people were killed during gun battles, including seven who were blown to pieces by hand grenades.
This fight, between the Sumi Wasuma and the Wake-Lakira, ended in June last year, and goods like household items and canvases had been delivered to the warring factions as they began to resettle into their land.
Ahmadi said the Usa fight ended on April 28 and on May 7, the Sumi and Usa warriors, as a step towards establishing peace, had their first meeting in Uma.
This was attended by three representatives each from the warring factions, where they agreed to stop fighting, he said.