13 Nov 2014

PNG's Hela province moves to stop tribal fight

9:32 am on 13 November 2014

The provincial assembly in Papua New Guinea's Hela province has allocated 750,000 US dollars for a joint police-military operation to control a tribal conflict in Tari.

The Post Courier reports that fighting between Paibali and Linabini tribes has left 20 people dead in the past month.

The money will fund an additional 100 police and soldiers to patrol Mt Kare, Komo-Margarima and Tari-Pori, the centre of fighting.

They add manpower to the province's 60-man police mobile squad following a declaration of a fighting zone in the area.

The death toll in the past week is eight, including a child, with many more injured.

Fighting has involved the use of high powered rifles, making it hard for Tari-based police to intervene.

It forced the Hela Provincial Assembly into an emergency session this week, approving the funding to engage special security forces to intervene and stop the tribal warfare.

The Hela Governor Anderson Agiru has urged the two warring tribes to stop because the conflict is affecting business in the province.

Hela region in PNG has a long history of tribal fighting.

Hela region in PNG has a long history of tribal fighting. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

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