Police reinforcements after spate of killings in PNG Highlands

1:25 pm on 16 March 2020
Tribesmen gathered in Enga.

Tribesmen gathered in Enga. The region has seen an increase in tribal violence in recent months. Photo: RNZ Pacific / Melvin Levongo

Police reinforcements have been deployed to the Papua New Guinea Highlands in the wake of a several mass killings in recent weeks.

Earlier this month in Enga province, there was an unconfirmed killing of a group of five people, including a pastor and two children in the village of Paiela, which is about a four day walk from Porgera with no road access.

The attacks were followed by the latest deadly fighting between two warring tribes which has spilled into Enga from neighbouring Hela province, with at least nine people shot dead in a massacre in Porgera district.

Police commissioner David Manning condemned what he called a vicious attack on defenceless men, women and children.

"Additional police manpower will be sent into the area to beef up the police numbers already on the ground and to build cases against perpetrators and bring them to justice," he said.

"My thoughts and prayers go to the communities in the area in these very trying times."