Warring tribes ignore peace call

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday, April 27, 2011

TWO warring tribes fighting in Southern Highlands’ Kagua district have told peace mediators to stay out of their fight, police reported yesterday.
The peace mediators from Mendi, who went into Kagua with a police contingent, were told to stay far away.
Highlands police divisional commander ACP Simon Kauba said yesterday afternoon that leaders from the warring tribes, the Mui and Kandine, had refused to cooperate with the peace mediators and had opted not to lay down arms.
He said many people had been killed in the fighting but the exact number of was yet to be confirmed.
He appealed to the provincial administration to fund security efforts by police for two weeks in the district before many more lives were lost.
Kauba said high-powered guns were being used by the tribes in the fighting leading to fears the death toll might escalate if authorities did not step in sooner.
According to reports received by The National yesterday, services were being affected.
Aiya tribesman and Usa community leader Ben Magani appealed to his people to lay down their arms and seek reconciliation.
He said the raging gun battle had caused too much destruction and putting services to a near standstill situation.
Magani said that he had contributed 40 pigs as part of the peace process.
He said the Nemola and Onapalae tribes were supporting the call for peace by contributing, while the provincial peace committee and police had been instrumental in negotiating peace.
However, all these initiatives had fallen on deaf ears and the conflict continued.