By ELIAS LARI
THREE people were killed in Enga’s Porgera on Saturday, a senior public servant says.
Two others are in critical condition at the Porgera Hospital as fighting continued between the Nomale and the Iayale tribes.
These bring the total number of deaths to nine since last week.
Porgera district development authority chief executive officer Jerry Maku confirmed the killing yesterday and said he had engaged the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) and police to provide security at Paiela and Porgera to monitor the situation. He said the three killed and two admitted at the hospital were from the Nomale tribe.
Maku said members of the Nomale tribe entered a lodge which was burnt down in the fighting earlier.
He said the lodge was owned by a member of the Iayale tribe.
Maku said the lodge and other properties were burnt down by the Nomale tribe.
He said members of the Nomale tribe returned to where the lodge was and tried to remove the remains of the building.
Maku said while in the process of removing the remaining building materials, warlords from the Iayale tribe came out from their hiding and shot dead three men and wounded two others who were in hospital.
“Since this killing, my office has stepped in to engage additional PNGDF personnel and police to prevent further killings and destruction to properties,” he said.
Maku said warlords were threatening to burn down hospitals and other public properties as well.
He said schools would remain closed this week while more input was needed to bring the situation under control.
“I’m appealing to members of the warring parties to respect public properties such as schools and hospitals,” he said.
“We need cooperation from all stakeholders so that both parties can cease fire.”
Maku said tribal fighting had claimed many lives and properties in Porgera and Paiala.
“This is the latest killing and the public is urged to help maintain order instead of adding more fuel,” he said.
“We all need to play our parts and help in restoring order.”
Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas last week called on the Government to give special attention to law and order in his province.
He asked Prime Minister James Marape to help engage Australian police to fix law and order in Enga.
Provincial police commander Chief Superintendent Epenes Nili could not be reached for comment.
Porgera Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Nickson Pakea said while the fight was going on: “Criminal elements attempted to break into and Porgera Joint Venture sage mill”.
By ELIAS LARI