Villagers settle after fleeing tribal fight

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MORE than 1,000 people forced away by last week’s tribal fighting in the Tari-Pori, Hela, have moved to Hoiebia.
Some are at the United church mission station, Women’s Guest House, Hoiebia High School and others with families in the Hoiebia community.
The people are from the Pinakia and Mulupi communities and are mostly elderly people, women, young girls and children.
Former Hela United church bishop Rev Wai Tege said the people were living in a safe environment but were facing food problems.
He said it was sad seeing them with few belongings, mothers with naked children clinging to them with some sitting inside the church and praying for peace.
Rev Tege said families with older children helped gather belongings while others who had younger children escaped without taking anything.
“I am thankful to the Hoiebia community for accepting them,” he said.
“They have a peaceful community like ours but due to problems caused by individuals, they have fled leaving everything.
“You can see fear and terror in their eyes.
“We must comfort them as they are our family.”
Rev Tege said Hoiebia was the only community in the Tebi local level government area that had no history of tribal warfare.