PNG Hela governor calls for end to fighting

3:30 pm on 13 December 2016

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's Hela Province, Francis Potape, is calling on the region's chiefs to stop fighting and return to peace talks.

Francis Potape

Francis Potape Photo: supplied / Peter Kinjap

Two warring tribes in the Highlands province have forced schools and banks to close, and public servants and business owners have stayed at home for fear of their safety.

The Post Courier reports that fighting had stopped as the two sides entered a peace process, but this appears to have broken down as battles have resumed.

The police commissioner, Gari Baki, is sending extra police to the province, but Mr Potape said this is only a band-aid solution and all sides need to eventually lay down arms.

He said constant tribal fighting is affecting businesses and the lives of the province's 310,000, and a full peace agreement needs to be negotiated among chiefs.

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