By DALE LUMA
PORGERA Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Nickson Pakea says the multi-billion-kina Porgera gold mine in Enga must reopen soon to generate economic activity to address lawlessness in the district.
“The law and order issues in the district is partially due to the shutdown of the mine and those with access to guns taking advantage to conduct illegal mining activities as well as stir up trouble.
“Our anticipation to receive the good news from the prime minister tomorrow (today) has been stalled due to the tribal conflict,” he said.
He said fighting has stopped with the deployment of police and Papua New Guinea Defence Force soldiers to the area. Pakea said the lawlessness in the district was partially due to Porgera mine’s shutdown.
“People with guns from other districts and provinces are taking advantage of the mine shutdown and them trespassing the mine for illegal mining.
“Apart from this, they also lease it (guns) for tribal fights, causing more destruction properties and innocent lives. The Government must intervene and stop this once and for all, not to just provide security.
“We want the Government to declare gun amnesty or gun surrender and collect all the guns.
“We want the mine to fire up soon.
“The longer it remains idle, the opportunities will increase for chaos. We also call on residents to support the security personnel to eradicate lawlessness once and for all by providing vital information.
“Fighting has stopped but schools are still closed in fear of retaliations.
“The principal of Porgera Secondary School has said that classes will resume on Monday,” he added.
By DALE LUMA