Police beef up Laiagam

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday, April 27, 2011

ENGA police deployed to the tribal war torn Laiagam district are outnumbered, but have taken full control of the situation.
Police were deployed into the fighting zone at Mamale village and had been able to prevent the fight from spreading out to the highway.
Provincial police commander Supt Martin Lakari told The National from Wabag yesterday that people were still fighting in the bush.
He said police were also vigilant in ensuring public property such as schools  were not destroyed.
Lakari visited the area on Monday appealing for a cease fire warning that if they failed, community leaders and village councillors would be answerable.
Locals gave their word that they would not fight but the situation remained tense.
The fight turned into an all out tribal war last Saturday and Sunday with the use of high powered firearms, resulting in a man being shot dead and another blown to pieces with an alleged military issue hand grenade.
More than 3,000 warriors fought over a piece of state land portion 67 that had been in dispute between two tribesmen, Chris Akuni and Kasi Kuima, who took the matter to court.
The National Court had ruled in favour of Akuni last February which did not go down well with Kuima who mobilised his clansmen and destroyed millions of kina worth of property belonging to Akuni.
This resulted in the arrest of Kuima, which led to the full scale tribal fight that also triggered neighbouring tribes to join in.
Police were camping  at the West Enga Technical High School  site which was currently under construction.
The fight is a continuation of a previous fight that had claimed seven lives.