17 Nov 2014

PNG police commander says state of emergency 'waste of money'

4:08 pm on 17 November 2014

The police commander of Papua New Guinea's Hela province says a state of emergency won't stop ongoing tribal warfare in the area.

Mark Yangen was responding to a call by PNG MP, Francis Potape, for a state of emergecy to quell the violence.

Police say the fighting first started in 2012 over an argument over land and 25 people have since been killed.

But Mr Yangen says a state of emergency is only a short-term fix.

"Everybody goes very quiet, no troubles, no nothing and that's it but then at the end of the month, when everyone returns things go back to square one again, you know. It's kind of a waste of time, a waste of money, to declare a state of emergency."

Mark Yangen says the situation is very tense and fighting could break out again at any time.

He says he is awaiting more reinforcements from headquarters to control the fighting but it is up to leaders to negotiate the peace.