SOUTHERN Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru yesterday threatened to withdraw Government services to the Hela region and Southern Highlands province which are embroiled in bloody tribal conflicts.
Police are currently monitoring fights and tension build-ups in Pureni, Simberigi and Hides gas area where a chief was killed last week.
The latest killing resulted in reprisal killings in an escalating conflict in this important gas field area.
The governor condemned the killing of paramount chief and Hela elder, Hiripalu Matiabe.
He called on all people engaged in tribal conflicts to end violence and turn to peaceful and lawful ways of resolving problems.
“More than any other people, Hela and the Southern Highlands stands to benefit much from the development of the LNG project,” he said.
“Such benefits can be better and equitably shared if communities are at peace with each other.
“Communities that persist in resorting to the ancient and outmoded tribal fights to resolve conflicts are telling the Government that they wish to continue with their old ways and are saying ‘no’ to efforts by the Government or business to deliver services.
“Accordingly, we will accede to their wishes and withdraw existing services and block future services to such communities until such time they decide it is time to choose peaceful, modern and legal ways of conflict settlement.
“At the same time, I call upon all of Hela to cease the habit of joining tribes at conflict on either side.”