ALL societies have law and order problems.
People are emotional creatures and the destructive emotions of anger, envy, jealousy, and greed and revenge cause people to have conflicts.
Related groups – in most traditional societies in Papua New Guinea where most people are related and everybody relies on each other, these conflicts have to be solved quickly. In traditional PNG, mediation, negotiation and compensation are used to solve most conflicts within villages and between different villages and tribes.
These methods are still being used successfully in Papua New Guinea today – both in villages and in the introduced court system.
Unrelated groups – between unrelated groups, common methods of solving conflicts traditionally were the payback system and inter-tribal warfare.
These methods were accepted in traditional times but they are no longer accepted in society today.
However, in some parts of the Highlands, and Enga in particular, there still exists unrelated hostile tribal groups.
This unrelated groups cannot easily relate to each other and take proper problem-solving approach, either using legal traditional methods or modern approach.
Papua New Guinea is a wealthy nation.
The 1990s brought a new minerals and energy boom with gold, copper, oil, and natural gas reserves being explored and developed in parts of the Highlands region.
However, there are many unhappy people living in economically developed areas due to tribal fighting, like in Enga.
In order for us to change and be happy, some traditional attitudes between sexes and tribal groups have to change.
The violent ways of influencing change mostly occurs in the most economically developed areas in the highlands.
Many tribal groups often try to influence change by using force.
They believe that violence is a much more dramatic way to influence change quickly.
The most common methods used in the Highlands is revolutionary violence – when a tribal group rebels to change what they see as an oppressive or unfair system.
Tribal disintegration in Enga – the Engans, more than 300,000 speakers who speak one language are not united.
They are disintegrated.
They continue to live in their hostile tribal groupings.
The political power is the only force that tries to instil unity of diverse tribes by enforcing law and order, and provide economic development for all.
However, sometimes such development might not settle well with other tribes, or the political power might not be fair to all.
Such differences in opinions and perception between tribes sometimes lead to conflict of interest and eventually lead to tribal warfare.
The result is the destruction of state services at a cost of millions of kina, destruction of homes and food gardens, including personal business assets worth thousands of kina and loss of so many lives.
Note that not all Engans are upholding tribalism and warfare.