More troops sent into Tari ‘war zone’

National, Normal


POLICE yesterday deployed more manpower to Tari, Southern Highlands province, to contain the ongoing tribal war which has affected economic activities and operations since last weekend.
“Enga’s mobile squad 11 was rushed to Tari on Monday. Yesterday, more men were deployed to beef up security to bring back normalcy,” provincial police commander Supt Jimmy Onopia said.
He said the operations of ExoonMobil, the developer of the PNG LNG project, Oil Search Limited and Curtain Brothers were badly affected by the fights which started last weekend.
“All construction work has stopped and it is still not known how many people were killed or injured,” he said.
Supt Onopia said apart from tribal fights in  Nongoli, there were also other tribal fights in Tari.
“We are not even sure how many tribes are fighting there.”
Despite a shortage of manpower, logistical supplies and the communication breakdown, Supt Onopia said: “We are doing all we can to contain the problem.” “If we need to call for more men from other provinces, then we will do so. But at the moment, we can manage,” he said.He added that he was yet to recieve a full report from his men on the situation. Supt Onopia said Mendi’s mobile squad 8 was deployed to Semberigi last Friday to contain tribal fighting in the area over a land ownership dispute which resulted in one death and not 11 as reported by the Post-Courier last week.
“Some suspects involved in the killing are expected to be arrested soon,” he said.
“We are doing our best to contain lawlessness in the province.”