23 Jun 2023

Tribal warfare in PNG results in 10 deaths, many more wounded

7:31 am on 23 June 2023

Photo: Supplied

Ten people have been killed in Papua New Guinea's Enga Province in a tribal fight.

The National newspaper reports provincial police commander Chief Inspector George Kakas as saying the fight broke out between the Mupapalu and the Nenei tribes last week over a land dispute.

"The inter-clan fighting became worse after the Sikin, Kaikin and other nearby clans, all from the same tribe, backed the Mupapalu clan and attacked the Nenei clan in a bid to take over their land," he said.

"Ten people have been killed so far, only four have been accounted for, meaning four bodies had been brought in by police whilst the other six are still yet to be recovered."

He also said several more people have been wounded and are in hospital.

Kakas said the Provincial Executive Council had declared Wapenamanda in Enga a "fighting zone".

The situation is under control, we have two Papua New Guinea Defence Force platoons from Delta Company and Police Mobile Squad units 11 and 12, all on the ground," he said.

"The security forces are carrying out patrols in the area and are also stationed in between the fighting clans, with some teams carrying out awareness and speaking with the communities to lay down their arms."

Kakas said the declaration of a fighting zone gives security personnel the power to carry out raids and arrests without an official complaint or warrant, and both police and defence personnel will be carrying out raids and arresting people suspected of carrying out violence.