Law and order problems too much for Hela

Highlands, Normal


KOROBA-Lake Kopiago MP John Kekeno urged the National Government to immediately address the appalling law and order problems in Hela region of the Southern Highlands province.
Mr Kekeno told The National on Monday in Tari that the Government needed to send in more policemen to Tari and Hela region as there was an increase in law and order problems in the area.
He made the call after receiving reports of fresh tribal warfare brewing at Alungi village in South Koroba.
The fight started on Sunday afternoon after a man was shot dead for stealing a pig from another.
Local youth leader Peter Malingi said the incident happened at about 4pm on Sunday when a man stole a pig from another man who was attending church service.
The thief slaughtered the pig and threw a feast for his friends. When the owner of the pig found out, he pulled out his home-made gun and shot the thief at point blank range.
The killing prompted an all-out tribal warfare between the two clans at the village.
Police said the fighting had worsened and four people were killed while several houses were burnt down.
School year commencement and classes at the nearby Lake Hayabi Primary School has also being affected.
Mr Kekeno said reports of tribal fighting in an area where the multi-billion kina PNG LNG project is being developed was not good for the country, and the Government needed to act quickly.
He said the Government must beef up police manpower presence in the area.
Mr Kekeno said currently there were less than 200 policemen looking after more than 700,000 people, a ratio that left police completely powerless to do anything.