Students flee as tribesmen clash

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday August 08th, 2012

TWO students have been hospitalised while others fled for their lives when two tribesmen fought inside the Four-Square Secondary School in Enga’s Wapenamanda district.
The school turned into a battle field yesterday morning when Yangokin and Waiminakin tribesmen from Lower Lai and Tsak Valley loaded in trucks, went to the school and joined in a fight involving students.
Provincial police commander Martin Lakari said yesterday afternoon that two students had suffered serious wounds from bush knives.
He identified the students as Solo Kalike, a Grade 9 student from Yangokin, and the other Joe Aino, a Grade 10 student from the Waiminakin tribe.
Lakari said the villagers armed with axes and bush knives went to the school after a male student from Yangokin allegedly tried to rape a female student after class on Monday afternoon.
He said the girl reported the matter to her parents and her tribesmen went to school by trucks in the morning.
He said while they tried to talk with the school management about the matter, students from Yangokin and Waiminakin exchanged punches.
Lakari said the villagers then joined in the fight, sending other students running for safety.
He said villagers from the two tribes joined in and turned the school grounds into a battlefield.
He said Kalike had his left arm chopped, while Aino had his right elbow chopped.
Lakari said that the two students were rushed to the Mambis Centre and admitted at the rural hospital.
He said policemen quickly moved into the school and dispersed the warring tribes to protect school property.
Lakari said it was the  first of its kind in the province and condemned the fight. He said it was a matter for the school management to address and resolve peacefully.
He could not understand why villagers came to the school with offensive weapons and got involved in the fight.