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Subject: Amapyaka Lutheran International School in Enga in abuse by warring tribes

Annoyed Engan
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Date Posted: Thu, Aug 16 2007, 07:48:12pm

What in the world is happening????


Students flee war at school

THE future of children attending the Amapyaka Lutheran International School in Enga is in jeopardy after they were evacuated following a tribal fight.
The prestigious school, which takes in children from all over the country, was invaded by armed villagers, who used the grounds to engage in gun battle.
The school is situated on a scenic location between Wabag and Wapenamanda, but its future has long been under the cloud because of continuous tribal fights in the area and threats to properties and the lives of school children and their teachers.
Last Sunday, armed men from one of the warring tribes cut the fence around the school and entered the grounds. Some school children who were evacuated to Tabubil said they feared they were going to be used as human shields by the warring tribesmen.
The terrified children rang their parents, who approached OTML to help evacuate their children.
The 25 children of the Ok Tedi mining staff were greeted by their anxious parents at the Tabubil airport after being evacuated at 11am on a chartered Dash 8 plane on Tuesday from the Wapenamanda airport.
The children told their parents of how the armed tribesmen entered the school grounds and turned it into a battlefield.
During the exchange of gunfire between the Ambulin and Wapukin tribes, a student narrowly escaped death when a stray bullet brushed his right shoulder.
One parent, Bernard Peter said they were grateful for the swift response by OTML to assist evacuate their children in a life-threatening situation.
The chartered flight left on Monday for Wapenamanda airport with two police officers and an OTML staff to bring back the children.
The school that caters for Grades 1 to 12 is now temporarily closed with the rest of the children also evacuated from the area.
A police mobile squad is now based at the school to prevent any damages to school properties.
Enga Governor Peter Ipatas yesterday slammed the police for failing to make any arrests, and directed the chairman of the school board Pato Potane to return to the province and address the situation.
Mr Ipatas said last night his government would do everything possible to ensure the school re-opened quickly.
“I do not know what the police are doing. They must arrest the culprits. There had been nil arrests and I do not know what was going on. This is a prestigious school and what was happening was shocking,” Mr Ipatas said.
In 2003, a fight between these two tribes resulted in a library and a computer laboratory being burnt down.


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[> Subject: Re: Amapyaka Lutheran International School in Enga in abuse by warring tribes

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Date Posted: Tue, Aug 21 2007, 11:52:56am

The land on which the school is belongs to the Ambulyin tribe. Ambulyins are using this school as a perfect shield in this chronic tribal conflict. Because there is government presence (police deployment) for safeguaring school premises plus the mission's (Lutheran) presence and influence, Ambulyins have that little bit of added advantage.

Thats why, the more Ambulyins are taking cover from the school, can you see how desperate the other tribe wants that school removed? The situation warrants this. Ambulyins should be humbled to have such a school and not to use it for evil intents. Boths tribes will be equally responsible for the closure (destruction, if any, in the future) of this school - and every one will lose this opportunity - a site of great historical significance to the Lutheran mission, and a loss of such a reputable institution.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Amapyaka Lutheran International School in Enga in abuse by warring tribes

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Date Posted: Mon, Aug 27 2007, 06:57:25am

Kaim Lakani1

I know you are from a tribe near the vicinity to where the tribal warfare is occuring. I am from Lagaip/Porgera, but I have great respect for the educational establishment (Amapyaka Lutheran International School) because I myself am a pioneering student during 1985-86, and 1989-1992). My siblings attended the school even during and after my departure.

Bro, I think the onus especially lies with you, as an Engan student leader to speak to our people of the Ambulin, Wapukin and Sikan tribes. It doesn't mean you have a commitment to all the tribes, but you should at least (via phone or personally) inform your people of the need for peace and security for the school. I love Amapyaka because I left it with so many fond memories and it broke my heart to learn that our library and main classroom facility was burnt down in 2003!! Innocent Engans and non-Engans have had to suffer for the local tribal warfare that has needlessly threatened the young students' very lives!

If I were the MP for Enga Regional, Wabag or even Wapenamanda, I'ld put my foot down to bring peace to the warring tribes as much as I care! But my Dad is only the MP for Lagaip/Porgera and I can ONLY advise him to inform Peter Ipatas, Miki Kaeok and Sam Abal to take this situation SERIOUSLY!!

Gibtz, you are an international student leader! PLEASE, play your part in however you can and inform us on how we can better solve this problem!

Your Kaim for Peace and Unity I Stand,

Stephen Kapus KIKALA
E-mail: kikala_stephen@yahoo.com

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[> Subject: Re: Amapyaka Lutheran International School in Enga in abuse by warring tribes

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Date Posted: Wed, Aug 29 2007, 09:36:18pm

Extract from View Point, Monday 27 Aug and statement by Enga PPC on TheNational today


Wabag MP must go out and stop tribal fight

It is sad to read about the re-elected MP for Wabag talking about a theoretical solution to an already existing fight on the Wabag-Wapenamanda border which has seen classrooms at Amapyaka and a church at Pina burned to the ground.
The classroom days are over, there is no time to preach, people are dying and properties are being destroyed. If you have been mandated by the people, please go and exercise it. Go and physically stop the fight, talk to the people, these are the very people that voted for you. Are you scared to physically front up as the elected MP because you do not know your people and that mandate was bought for you.
People who mandated leaders like the late Sir Tei Abal would simply walk right into the battle field and stop them. What is the difference now? Its not because they are armed with factory made guns instead of the old fashioned bow and arrows?
These are the same old people using the guns instead of bows and arrows, why not stop them.
These people deserve to die as well because they accepted the free cash handouts to buy bullets and ammunitions.
They are well equipped now. It would be in the best interest of the mobile squad to stay away from these war zones as MPs are responsible.
Expect more tribal fights, especially in Wabag, because our MPs and supporters dished out cash in the thousands during the campaign period.
One MP even called warring tribes to his village and gave them money to compensate each other.

Yarae Eret via email
Tei urges MPs to address tribal fights

THE Enga Provincial Police Commander (PPC) has challenged all MPs from the province to assist police in addressing tribal fights in the province.
Supt Teddy Tei said leaders in the province had not yet gone down to the people in the battle field with police to stop the fight rather than criticising.
He said this in response to Governor Peter Ipatas media release last week on the tribal fighting.
Mr Tei said that politicians like Mr Ipatas and respective MPs were pointing fingers at the police for tribal fights but they are also responsible for not going down to the people and talk to them.
He said since he took office in 2005, he personally went into the tribal fighting areas without guns and talked to the people and stop many tribal fights such as Kassap fight in Muritaka, Head Water fight in Laiagam, Surunki, Porgera, Kandep, Ambum and Kompiam tribal fights.
He said the only tribal fight in the province police had been trying their best to stop was the Wapukin and Ambulin fight at Akom at the boarder of Wabag and Wapenamanda districts.
He said that police appreciated Enga provincial government for assistance with funds for their operation but the money spent could not change the mentality of the people.
Mr Tei said that the deployment of police into the fighting zones, funding of police operation and arresting of certain community leaders were short term measures.
He said that the leaders need to dig out the real cause of these tribal fights and solve the problem once and for all.
He said that if this was not done then, Enga province would continue to have tribal fighting related problems.
Meanwhile, Mr Tei said as compared to other provinces, Enga had less criminal activities such as rape, murder, break-and-enter, stealing, car theft, and armed robbery.

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