Police pursue talks with villagers to end standoff

Lae News, Normal


MOROBE police and Sialum district administration in Tewai-Siassi district are trying to negotiate with Kip villagers to calm a stand-off that began last Thursday.
The villagers attacked police who were flown in to establish law and order after reports of a cult group in the area and also to settle a feud between two neighbouring villagers of Ririwo and Kanome.
In the exchange of gun-fire, a villager was killed.
 The villagers had pursued police to the Kalasa health centre where the situation yesterday
was tense. Snr Insp David Warap, of the Morobe provincial police command, said eight Lae-based policemen were still at the Sialum station. He said in attempts to negotiate and create dialogue, the Sialum district administrator had sent a letter to Kip village yesterday.
Snr Insp Warap said he also held a meeting yesterday with his senior officers to discuss an action plan.
Some ammunition had been sent to Sialum police.
In case the Kip villagers attack, he said his men would have sufficient fire power to defend themselves and to protect the station.
“If worse comes to worse, more reinforcements will be sent to Sialum,” he said.
Snr Insp Warap said at the moment situation was also quiet but volatile as “anything could happen”.