MP issues warning to warring tribes

National, Normal


KEROWAGI MP Guma Wau has told his people who are engaged in tribal warfare that they will miss out on Government services if they continue fighting.
Mr Wau said over the weekend that projects like rural electricity project, upgrading of feeder roads and Waghi bridge maintenance were threatened by an ongoing fight by two clans of the Kumai tribe over a gravel pit near Barawaghi jail in Simbu province.
He said unless the clans put down their arms, these projects might not start.
Mr Wau said he feared that if these projects went ahead, the warring clans would destroy them, resulting in a waste of public funds.
“If people want services they must lay down their arms and allow peace and harmony to prevail in their area,” Mr Wau said.
He said he tried his best to bring peace through the peace and good order committee and the police for the past few weeks but the warriors were not prepared to negotiate.
Mr Wau appealed to  Peter Kama, a leader of Damba Kane clan, and Peter Kai, another community leader within the Kunagle Gauma clan in the Kumai tribe, to stop the fighting.
So far, three people have been killed and many homes, food gardens and property were destroyed on both sides.  Many others had been wounded.
Mr Wau also said the Kerowagi police had confiscated an ambulance which he had given to the Kup sub-health centre. He added that he and taken the vehicle away because it had been misused and would only be returned if the fighting stopped.In the other fight between the Silku and Gena tribes in Kerowagi, one woman from the Silku tribe was shot dead last Wednesday while working in her garden.
On Saturday morning, the Gena tribesmen raided the Silku’s territory by burning down houses and destroyed properties at Siure village.
Mr Wau said he would send peace mediators and police to stop the fight.
He said Kerowagi was declared a fighting zone last month and police would arrest anybody involved in fights or carrying offensive weapons.
Police were not available for comment yesterday.