Police prevent fight in WHP

National, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 5, 2011

POLICE have contained a gun battle in the lower Nebilyer area in the Western Highlands, provincial commander superintendent Kaiglo Ambane said.
Chief Insp Ambane said the fight erupted after a compensation payment made to the Pereka tribe for another tribal fight with a neighbouring clan that ended few years ago.
He said Pereka tribesmen fought each other last week, resulting in the death of a man on Saturday.
Ambane said another man suffered gunshot wounds and was receiving medical treatment at the Mt Hagen General Hospital.
Trouble overflowed when a clan in the Pereka tribe accepted the compensation payment while the other clans refused to partake in the ceremony and accept the payment as a step towards fostering peace.
He said, as a result, the tribesmen fought each other while the tribe involved in the compensation payment sided with the clan that had accepted the payment and a gun battle ensued.
Members of the police force travelled into the area on Saturday to negotiate peace but were asked to return on Monday for a formal peace process.
After police left, fighting broke out again, resulting in the death, others wounded and properties being razed and destroyed.
Ambane and his men returned on Sunday and negotiated with parties involved in the fight and called for peace and the tribes agreed.
Police and a peace mediation team are expected to travel into the area this week to ensure fighting has completely ceased.
Ambane commended the warring tribes for cooperating with the police.
He said fighting was destructive and more people would continue to suffer in many ways as a result of it.