PAPUA NEW GUINEA Papua New Guinea, tribal violence explodes

Clay Curtis
July 11, 2019

Tribal violence is common in Papua New Guinea's interior, where villagers avenge relatives in retaliation known as payback, according to the AP.

Radio NZ is reporting the attack on Monday occurred in Tagali local level government area of Hela province's Tari-Pori district, the electorate of Prime Minister James Marape.

Philip Undialu, governor of Hela Province in the central highlands where the attack took place on Monday, said: "It's a very sad story".

William Bando, provincial administrator, requires at least another 100 members of the security forces in support of the current 40 officers.

Teddy Augwi, the local chief inspector, told the Post-Courier that the violence flared up on Saturday when six people returning from a ceremony near the village of Peta were set upon and murdered by the roadside.

The newspaper, based in the South Pacific island nation's capital Port Moresby, reported as many as 24 people were killed in all, including two pregnant women, over three days of violence.

The victims' relatives retaliated with rifles the next day, killing 16-18 people in Karida, including pregnant women, he said.

Prime Minister Marape, a native of the region, says the perpetrators of the killings are armed men from the Hagui, Okiru and Liwi tribes.

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Marape said numerous victims lived in his electorate. "So I just ran away and hide in the bush, then later on, about 9 or 10, I came back and saw bodies chopped into pieces and houses were burnt".

Mr Marape warned the attackers their "time is up".

"How can a province of 400,000 of us characteristic with policing regulation and advise with under 60 policemen, and low operational militia and police that does no greater than band abet repairs", he added.

How general is tribal violence in PNG?

It is not clear what prompted the latest attacks, but many tribal clashes are old rivalries ignited by allegations of rape, theft, or disputes over territorial boundaries.

In 2018, an natural disaster devastated one of the most essential distant regions. However, clashes involving different clans have been going on in the region for over 20 years.

Papua Recent Guinea is without doubt a number of the many poorest worldwide locations of Asia with about 40% of the population dwelling on no longer as much as $1 a day, in step with the UN.

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