7 Dec 2006

PNG police send 20 officers to tribal fighting zone

4:40 pm on 7 December 2006

Twenty police officers are to join the two police officers currently stationed in Papua New Guinea's Nebilyer district to help stop the violence there.

Fierce fighting between the Ulga and Kulga tribes has erupted and resulted in the destruction of houses and crops as the decades long feud escalates.

Its estimated that thirty thousand people are now engaged in the fight which has claimed around seventy lives within the last twelve months alone.

The acting provincial police commander for western highlands province, Chief Inspector Ivan Lakatini says he's hopeful that this will halt the violence.

"Well I think by having a steady presence of the police personnel on the ground who will be with them right on the ground, I believe they should change their attitudes and mentality and should work closely with the police now."

Chief Inspector Ivan Lakatini says the police will be involved in re-establishing road blocks as well as visiting the tribal groups to negotiate peace.