Four die in Kerowagi fight

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 13th September, 2012

FIGHTING in Kerowagi, Chimbu, has intensified, with police yesterday confirming four deaths.
Provincial police commander Augustine Wampe said thousands of kina worth of property that included semi-permanent houses, vehicles, food crops and coffee trees had been destroyed in the fight that started in July.
Police said the fight started immediately after the elections by disgruntled supporters of losing candidates.
“High-powered firearms are used in this fight,” Wampe said.
“We are trying our best to contain the situation but are outnumbered and have problems with vehicles and fuel.”
He said fighting had intensified in the Ganige area but they had yet to identify the tribes and clans involved.
“Men, women and children left their villages and are in hiding,” Wampe said.
He said the armed people would retreat when they saw police arriving and resumed gun battles as soon as police left.
Wampe said at least three Mobile Squad units would have to deployed to the fighting zone to help quell the situation.
He said fighting in Gumini district had subsided after police and a local mediation team urged the people to stop fighting.
Wampe urged the warring factions to stop fighting, saying the elections were over and there was no need for people to kill each other.
“Let us continue with our business.
“Elections come around once every five years,” he said.