Tuesday 15 September 2020
Commissioner and Controller of the National Pandemic Response, David Manning, has appointed Chief Police Superintendent and Deputy Commander (Highland Command Eastern End) Joseph Tondop , to lead a team to stablise tribal tensions in Enga and Western Highlands provinces.
Commander Tondop will lead lead a team with officers from both Western Highlands and Enga into the war zone in an effort to to resolve tribal fights in both communities.
Mr Manning said Mr Tondop is well recognised for his efforts in stabilising tribal war zones and bringing peace and normalcy into the communities affected.
“I want tribal leadership of parties involved to lay down their arms and talk to Commander Tondop about your grievances and find a lasting solution to end the armed conflict.”
Mr Manning said the current tribal fights in Kompiam, Laiagam and Wapenamanda districts of Enga and Mul Baiyer and Lumusa districts in Western Highlands have resulted in too many lives being lost and millions of kina worth of properties being destroyed.
“I’m hoping that some common sense would prevail, especially given the cause of the fighting and the subsequent consequences of these actions.
“Unfortunately we have seen that this has not happened and the fighting has now intensified and gone from bad to worse.”
“I ask all parties involved in this to assist Mr Tondop and his officers and men in this effort in any way or means necessary to achieve peace and return to normalcy.”
He said, “ at the end of the day it is you the people of Western Highlands and Enga who will suffer. There are no winners in this feud so I encourage all parties to come to the round table and talk peace.”
Mr Manning added that Enga and Western Highlands provinces as well as PNG cannot afford to have the killings and destruction continuing at this time of severe financial and economic difficulties.
Innocent persons are currently being affected unnecessarily and there is a great potential for the fighting to escalate further and involve other neighbouring tribes.
Mr Manning urged the people or groups in these provinces to raise their concerns and suggestions with Mr Tondop and his officers to help map out an action plan for this process.
“I pray that God will touch the hearts of the leaderships of the warring factions and compel them to find a way forward towards reconciliation and lasting peace.
“ We are now celebrating our 45 years anniversary as an independent nation of a thousand tribes. Perhaps this is the occasion to put aside our differences and forge a new future ahead in peace,” Mr Manning said.
Media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
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