The National, Friday 24th August 2012
By FRANK RAI
ATTACKS on Chimbu settlers at 15 Block in Kamkumung, Lae city, is far from over as three more houses were razed to the ground by opportunists and youths on Wednesday.
The latest incident happened between 9am and 10am when the youths went on rampage again for the second time and torched three houses while the victims fled to safety.
The settlers from Chimbu gathered at Lae Central Police station to air their grievances at why police have left the Sepiks to continue their attack on them.
The ongoing attack by the Sepiks is in relation to a previous incident in which Chimbu people burnt down two houses belonging to a Sepik man who was suspected of allegedly killing a young woman from Chimbu three weeks ago.
Despite a mediation between the two factions, the Sepiks burnt down 25 houses last Friday, making more than 300 people homeless.
Lae metropolitan commander Supt Nema Mondiai said yesterday that he had yet to receive an official report from his sectional commanders but was aware of the attacks.
Mondiai said community leaders from the affected Chimbu community gathered on Wednesday with police to find ways to address the problem.
He said during the meeting, the Chimbu leaders were assured that those responsible would be tracked down and put behind bars.
Community leaders John Woere Koma and Pr Plankus Miamel said there were criminal elements taking control of 15 Block settlement by “rule of anarchy”.
“Police have assured us (settlers) that they will move in and clamp down on the culprits.
“But currently, police presence at the settlement is of paramount importance,” Miamel said.
Meanwhile, Lae city mayor James Khay said such law and order problems could be addressed if only there were available funds at the city council.
“The Lae city council is another local level government council and there are insufficient funds to deal with such law and order issues.”
Khay added that the police hierarchy in Port Moresby should look at beefing up manpower in Lae city. A shortage of policemen was a contributing factor to the problem.