30 Oct 2009

Salvation Army brokers end to 26-year PNG tribal feud

1:49 pm on 30 October 2009

Warring tribes in a remote part of Papua New Guinea have agreed to end 26 years of fighting in a deal brokered by the Salvation Army.

It is the culmination of several years of effort involving leaders from half a dozen villages in the Okapa district of Eastern Highlands province after the Salvation Army launched a programme called Community Advancement and Reform Enhancement.

Army spokesperson, Captain John Kerari, says this programme focussed on making it easier for the local communities to sell their coffee beans through improved links to distributors in Australia, but first the villagers had to sign a covenant.

"On the top of the list of covenant conditions was to say no to tribal fighting and drug and alcohol abuse, women abuse and all of those, so through training communities were led to signing those covenants, and I believe that has contributed to the turn about that we see happening now."

Captain John Kerari of the Salvation Army in PNG