Prime Minister Marape Urges End to Tribal Conflict in Enga Province

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has issued a heartfelt appeal to the warring tribes of Enga Province, urging them to cease hostilities and lay down their arms amidst the ongoing tribal conflicts and loss of lives in the region.

Addressing the grave situation today, Prime Minister Marape strongly condemned the recent incident involving the killing of five suspected hired gunmen, whose graphic images were widely disseminated on social media platforms. He characterised this act of violence as a case of “jungle justice” and underscored the necessity for a more peaceful and just resolution to the conflicts that plague the region.

“I want to implore the warring tribes of Enga to abandon violence and also denounce the concept of ‘jungle justice,’” Prime Minister Marape stated resolutely.

“In my condemnation of ‘jungle justice,’ I also caution those engaged as hired gunmen that the people of Enga are fed up with their interference in tribal conflicts, as was tragically demonstrated over the weekend. The populace of Enga longs for peace, as was powerfully exemplified when they took matters into their own hands.”

Prime Minister Marape further asserted that the Police force has been issued explicit directives to decisively address the ongoing tribal disputes in Enga.

“Police Commissioner David Manning has been mandated to intervene in the persistent tribal confrontations in Enga, to quell the escalation of violence, and to apprehend those who persist in armed conflicts,” he affirmed.

“Furthermore, investigations have been conducted into the financiers of these tribal clashes, many of whom reside outside the province of Enga. To all warring factions in Enga, I appeal you to relinquish your weapons and allow the peace initiatives initiated by the Enga Provincial Government to progress.

“Should the law eventually catch up with individuals, such as those involved in recent incidents, incarceration will be the inevitable consequence.

“In the nearby province of Hela, more than 50 tribal fighters have already been apprehended and are presently in custody, undergoing due legal procedures for suitable sanctions.

“Individuals apprehended in possession of firearms will be subject to life imprisonment. It is of utmost importance for those in Enga to take heed of this cautionary message. As we converse, the entire province is currently under heightened scrutiny.”

Prime Minister Marape emphasised that the continuation of tribal violence should not hinder the flow of traffic along the Highlands Highway to vital areas such as the Porgera Gold Mine, Wapenamenda, Wabag, and other critical parts of Enga. He also stressed that the provision of essential services by both the national and provincial governments, including education and healthcare, must remain unaffected.

“Individuals who break the law will face its full consequences,” he warned sternly.

“We are currently evaluating the police structure in Enga, as well as the role of the PNG Defence Force. Special police operations have already been initiated in Enga and the western segment of the Highlands to ensure that the principles of law and order are upheld.”

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