Toni calls for unified effort to address Lae woes

National, Normal

The National, Mondy 14th November 2011

MOROBE women’s leader, Loujaya Toni has called on youth leaders in the nine Morobe districts for unity in dealing with the aftermath of the ethnic violence.
Toni, an Ahi leader, said the Morobe youth population could not resolve the problem because “Lae is an industrial hub containing people from around the country and now has more locals intermarrying with Highlanders”.
She said the youths from the highlands region in Lae should take responsibility for the rape, pick-pocketing and harassment of the public and should abstain from these acts.
Many locals think the Ahis were wrong to have sold land to outsiders.
They said the prolonged silence by Lae MP and local Ahi leader, Bart Philemon, “is a reflection of the ignorance of all Ahi leaders”.
“Many of the ethnic violence and deaths in Lae over the years were happening in settlements located on Ahi land, but their leaders, including the MP, have always been quiet to speak out which is very shameful,” said Jim Nalong, an elder from Erap, Nawaeb district.