Kerowagi declared war zone

National, Normal


KEROWAGI district in Simbu province, has been declared a fighting zone to enable police to tackle a fight between warring clans.
Two clans in the Kub sub-district, the Dambekanums and the Kunalgapams, have been fighting each other with tension rising between the Silku and Gena tribes.
The Simbu peace and good order committee decided at a meeting on Monday to declare the district a “fighting zone”.
Provincial police chief Supt Joseph Tondop welcomed the move, saying it would help the police to crackdown on the law-breakers.
He said yesterday that he would deploy more men to Kup as soon as funding was received from the Government.
He said two police units, including a mobile squad, were already in the area.
Fighting between the two clans broke out last month following a dispute over a gravel pit along the Barawagi section of the Waghi River.
The Dambekanum clan was reportedly upset that a court ruling over the pit favoured the Kunnalgapam clan.
It is believed that one man was shot dead last Friday and two were wounded.
Sources told The National that the dead man was a member of the Dambekanum clan.
The two wounded men had been warded at the Kundiawa General Hospital, they said.
Supt Tondop appealed to leaders from both clans to work with the police in restoring law and order.
“I want leaders to control their people and to get them to lay down their weapons,” he said.