21 May 2010

Tension high after Bulolo clashes in PNG

1:04 pm on 21 May 2010

There is continuing tension in Bulolo in Papua New Guinea's Morobe Province after clashes earlier this week left at least six people dead.

Two men remain missing after the clashes between locals and East Sepik people.

3,000 settlers are homeless after their homes were burnt down when Bulolo youths went on a rampage after a man was killed and the East Sepik squatters were blamed.

Our correspondent, Oseah Philemon, says there is a heavy police presence in the area and while it remains tense, fighting has stopped.

He says there have been tensions around Bulolo for many years and the East Sepik people now want to leave.

"But at the moment the situation remains somewhat hazy. We understand that the Governor of this province, Mr Luther Wenge and the member for the Bulolo Open electorate, Sam Basil, will be meeting again and then going back to Bulolo to talk with the people to try and calm everything down and see if they can meet the East Sepik people's demand to be repatriated out of Bulolo."

Oseah Philemon