Resolve border checkpoint issue

Letters, Normal

The National, Thursday 23rd August, 2012

THE checkpoint at the border between Western Highlands and Enga was put up by the latter in the early 1990s to prevent illicit drugs and ammunition from entering Enga.
It was to protect Enga and provide a responsible and safe environment for business and big investments such as the Porgera  mine.
The checkpoint was gi­ven to one of the locals
from the Yoponda tribe to ma­nage and it has been operating well for the past 10 years.
But since 2010, the Yoponda Melopakarenges from Kelua village of Mt Hagen have tried to claim the checkpoint, saying that the land belongs to them and have been petitioning the local man to give it up.
They claim that the Lai­maipalu man, who owns the land, is not the legitimate owner.
The spill-over effect of the dispute has resulted in many lives lost and pro­perty damaged.
The Walya village, home of the Yoponda tribe, has been terrorised by the Melopakarenges and Ipu­pu Kainapalus.
This on-going problem needs to be resolved by the checkpoint manager, Win Konjil, the Melopaka­ren­ges and Kainapalus as well as the Enga provincial go­vernment.
There should be a peace agreement between these clans and it should be ini­tiated by the provincial government.

Yoponda Chief
Port Moresby