New district under state of emergency

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THE Government has declared a State of Emergency (SoE) in Porgera-Paiam due to an ongoing and protracted tribal fight that has claimed about 20 lives, Prime Minister James Marape says.
“The SoE was approved last week by the National Executive Council and will be in force until December,” he said.
“We need to protect the newly formed Porgera-Paiam electorate that houses many of the country’s assets, like the Porgera gold mine.”
Marape said soldiers would be stationed in the electorate to ensure peace was restored.
“Barrick gold mine will also soon start operations,” he said.
Meanwhile, the business community in Porgera has welcomed the announcement of the SoE, saying that it was time to address law and order issues in the area and the ongoing firearms issue in the western end of the Highlands.
Pogera Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Nick Pakea said the business community had lost faith in carrying out their businesses and had opted to close down until the law and order issues were addressed.
District administrator Jerry Maku said “we have been working closely with the provincial government to resolve the issues”.
“Security tension in the area is still high but we now have police and soldiers in town to restore normalcy,” he said. “There is no more fighting here, after more than 100 houses were burnt down and about 20 lives were lost.”