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Subject: Tribal feuds wreck Enga


Author:
PC
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Date Posted: Wed, Sep 12 2007, 08:36:13pm

Focus Wednesday 12th September , 2007


,Killing of innocent people as well as wanton destruction of property in the Enga Province has come to a stage where calls have been made for a state of emergency to be put in place to quell hostilities between the tribes and to restore peace. Now ...!

Tribal feuds wreck Enga

WHEN will killings and destruction to property stop in Enga?
It continues to sadden me when I see hundreds of men slaughtered as if they were diseased animals and when public and private property worth billions of kina are reduced to rubble every year during tribal feuds in Enga Province.
The latest craze is the cold blooded murder recently of a community school teacher from Mulitaka, killed at a road block at Aipanda in Laiagam.
Two weeks before this wanton killing, Ambuline and Wapukin tribesmen, wiped out Pina Catholic Mission, one of the oldest mission establishments in the province.
And this ongoing tribal feud has forced the Highlands Lutheran International School, one of the most prestigious schools in the country, to shut down on many occasions over the years.
The Pina Catholic Mission destruction costing over K2 million included a landmark church building designed in European architectural style.
A primary school and the convent were levelled out on Monday, August 20.
This fight between the Ambuline and Wapukin has seen more than 100 men killed, not to mention property including whole villages.
The area from Lenki village near Wabag town to Akom on the border of Wabag and Wapenamanda resembles a lunar landscape – no houses, no trees, no people, only elephant grass with colourful graveyards dotted along the way.
Tribes living up and down this stretch of highway have formed alliances calling themselves the Paipap Team and the Nakau Team, which are fiercely locked in a battle of attrition, destroying each other and resulting in the deaths of hundreds of men.
It is said in Enga that warfare is confined to tribal groups involved in a conflict and does not affect other people but what can we say now when innocent travellers are murdered and when churches and schools are burnt down.
As an Engan journalist working and living here for nearly three decades, I have documented many horrific killings, rapes and destruction to property costing billions of kina all over the province. Nobody can deny this!
Innocent health workers, policemen, businessmen, church workers, students and even a council president were mercilessly gunned down.
And my heart aches to see innocent children and women suffering.
I sometimes wonder if God Almighty made a mistake to create some people who just want to die over anything — like the pig, marbles, snooker games and other trivial matters.
Just last year, the Lutheran Church-run Tinjipaka Primary School, one of the oldest in Kandep, was burnt down over a lost pig.
A permanent church building and a sub-health centre were also torched. On top of that 11 able-bodied people were gunned down on suspicion that the pig in question was stolen by youths from the Wasani tribe, the people belonging to a Lyarop tribesman who was later found alive in the bush.
But the men and property were lost forever.
A while back, Rakamanda, the headquarters of the SDA Church in Enga, was reduced to ashes after an argument over a single K50 note.
A new high school, the DPI experimental station and the NBC transmitter station also went up in smoke. Another SDA-run health facility, the Sopas Hospital, one of the best in the province, was forced to closed due to continued tribal warfare in the area. It had started after an argument among youths over who should play first at a snooker table.
Recently, Highland Lutheran International School which has nothing to do with the tribal fight between the Wapukin and Ambuline, was forced to close and students from many parts of the country were evacuated to their homes.
This happened after one student received pellet wounds while in the bathroom as the two tribes went to war again on the day the last of the PNG Defence Force soldiers left the province after election duties were over. Now, with Pina mission gone, it looks like the Wapukin tribesmen will aim directly for Highland Lutheran International School because they saw it as an obstacle preventing them from wiping out Yaibos — home of the Ambuline.
They also see the school as beneficial to the Ambuline in terms of employment.
But Enga and the nation cannot afford to continue to lose churches and schools like Highlands Lutheran International School at the hands of warring clansmen. And the nation cannot allow innocent teachers, church workers and others to be gunned down frequently.
As is custom in Enga the conclusion of all fighting and revenge killings is compensation.
People killed can be compensated with pigs and cash.
But what about Pina Catholic Mission and all the other public property lost in all fights in Enga? Who will rebuild them? And what will happen to the school children?
And the innocent teachers who was gunned down this month, will any amount of compensation bring back his life?
Last week, Head Bishop of the Gutnius Lutheran Church, Rev David Piso called on students from HLIS to return to classes.
And while some have returned, others have transferred to other schools.
Temporary security arrangements have been made for the school to resume classes but it is only a band-aid treatment to a serious problem.

Police presence will provoke the Wapukin tribesmen into planning now to gradually destroy HLIS one day.
This will happen when students and staff least expect it.
The destruction of Pina Catholic Mission was the subject of discussion on a PMV bush and a man said HLIS must be destroyed because that will satisfy the Wapukin and Sikins in revenge for Pina Catholic Mission. Most other passengers agreed.
But is this how to stop the long lasting fight between the Wapukins and the Ambulines? Is this view shared by our leaders?

All five Enga elected representatives, the Lutheran Church, the Catholic Church, law enforcement agencies, the provincial government and other stakeholders must try to solve this problem and lawless activities on public highways immediately.
If any more time is delayed, I doubt if we will see Enga’s future at all because authorities have stubbornly allowed senseless warriors to continue to destroy billions of kina worth of property, thousands of men killed as innocent children and women suffer.

A state of emergency-type operation needs to be put in place now to neutralise hostilities and allow people to at least feel safe once more to travel on public roads.

http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20070912/wehome.htm

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Replies:
[> Subject: Re: Tribal feuds wreck Enga


Author:
Shirley Apakali (Heart Broken)
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Date Posted: Thu, Sep 13 2007, 08:12:49am

I can't stop my tears when reading this, I don't know why these things are happening, I don't know when these fightings will stop, people killed, schools gone, hospitals destroyed, and churches burned....I don't know what kind of future our children and our siblings will have back home, oh God help us(crying).
Its very sad, I am torn apart when hearing bad news of sweet home, Enga. My only Dreams for Enga is peace and harmony one day.

I don't wanna be a refugee...no no...


SA

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[> Subject: Re: Tribal feuds wreck Enga


Author:
Disheartened
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Date Posted: Thu, Sep 13 2007, 05:47:59pm

This problem has been extensively discussed here. It has been happening, now happening and will be happening for years to come.

There is a little recipe though that can be assumed as a starting point: SELF RESPECT AND RESPECT FOR OTHERS.
One doesn't need to attend school to learn this. It's a default human feature. People just need to cultivate it and realise it personally

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[> Subject: Re: Tribal feuds wreck Enga


Author:
Engan Lenge
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Date Posted: Thu, Sep 13 2007, 11:49:34pm

Sist Shirley, this is truly disheartening and I truly feel the same. We have been talking about tribal fights on how we could help Enga, but sometimes words have their limitations.
I still think the Engan politicians have a big work to do. I would suggest, the first priority could be to take head on now, to combat tribal fights and hold peace talks. Then would think of developments in which the people will participate, something like rural housing schemes, etc. That is how the president of south Korea turned the rural villages into a powerful economic and military nation. Leaders need to create an empire in their mind first before they stand for public office, like being an MP. I believe strongly, this is where the let down is.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Tribal feuds wreck Enga


Author:
Engan Lenge
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Date Posted: Fri, Sep 14 2007, 09:09:31pm

Interesting TapuMalo, Rural to Urban Drift, Is it a way of tentative development for Enga. No!!! Enga needs the rightful social services (health, education and infrastructure)and agroeconomic participation in the province to improve their well being.
First tribal fight must be minimised or come to an end, and that is where I still strongly believe that our MPs and some of us can play a leading role.
Everyone, let me say this again, look down through the spectrum of time, and position Enga where you want to see in 10 or 20 years. We need to create the well being of Enga 'first in our minds' and put genuine thoughts together for the betterment of Enga. Do we want to create squatter settlements in towns or we want decent living for our people, or should they continue as they are now.

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[> Subject: Re: Tribal feuds wreck Enga


Author:
TapuMalo
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Date Posted: Fri, Sep 14 2007, 04:46:25pm

Enga Lenge,

Good point.....but I have my reservations because if the causes of the tribal wars are not removed, then the new houses will be history too. If public institutions likes schools and churches are burnt down then there is no gurantee that houses will be spared.

I personally think that the gov't should encourage rural to urban drift. In the long run this will destabilise the tribal system or wantok system we have becasue the 3rd or 4th generation urban kids will have no idea where they are from in terms of regions and clans but will be a citizen of PNG growing up in any urban center in PNG. This generation will not know their parents language, tribemen or anything else to do with tribesmen for that matter. They will owe no obligation to anybody or declare allegances with anybody. I have seen this a segment of the population developing in Pom and for some weird reasons seem to like it.

I know this will lead to an increase in urban crimes but these crimes do not result in public institutions being burnt down nor does it affects the next door neighabour. The gov't can also concentrate in channelling resourcse to built better public institutions and properties in a narrow geographical setting. As quality of services in the urban centres improve, the desire to move to these areas will increase among the rural folks. As more people migrate to the urban centres, land will be freed from the harsh grip of landowners claiming compensation for any living thing found their lands.

I know this won't go down well with many Engan but I am not an Engan those that's where I was born and raised. I am a PNGian and I call PNG my home, not Enga. I guess my status qualifies me to live anywhere in PNG.

GeneX Strategy

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[> [> Subject: Re: Tribal feuds wreck Enga


Author:
Enga Lenge
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Date Posted: Fri, Sep 14 2007, 09:12:47pm

Interesting TapuMalo, Rural to Urban Drift, Is it a way of tentative development for Enga. No!!! Enga needs the rightful social services (health, education and infrastructure)and agroeconomic participation in the province to improve their well being.
First tribal fight must be minimised or come to an end, and that is where I still strongly believe that our MPs and some of us can play a leading role.
Everyone, let me say this again, look down through the spectrum of time, and position Enga where you want to see in 10 or 20 years. We need to create the well being of Enga 'first in our minds' and put genuine thoughts together for the betterment of Enga. Do we want to create squatter settlements in towns or we want decent living for our people, or should they continue as they are now.


[sorry for the double shot 'up', meant to be a resonse to TapuMalo's]

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[> Subject: Re: Tribal feuds wreck Enga


Author:
61
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Date Posted: Mon, Sep 17 2007, 08:38:21pm

people, our MPs or any other leaders for that matter will not change Enga. no one individual can change the minds and hearts of Engans.

i think it is all in the attitude of Engans. if we all want to see change in our beloved province it is up to us to take the first steps by changing ourselves first. like what Mahatma Ghandi said, " if you want to see change in the world you must first be the change you want to see in the world". Hence it is up to each individual from the villages right up to educated Engans and MPs to change themselves first before we change our immediate families, tribes, and the province. Now the question is how do we change ourselves? as educated engans we all know the answer to that question. it is easy for us to change. however, the poor average Engan villager at home has been entrenched in the 'old and outdated Engan system' and will not be easy to change. this are the very people that need to change now to stop tribal fights and create a conducive environment for progress in Enga. how should uneducated engans at home change?

I leave this open to you others to express your views on how our people at home should have a quantum shift in their mindset and what should be done to induce such change in their attitudes so that progress and development can be effected in Enga.

61

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[> [> Subject: Re: Tribal feuds wreck Enga


Author:
Enga Lenge
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Date Posted: Tue, Sep 18 2007, 08:09:18pm

I agree with you partly, and to say there is nothing that don't change, especially human behaviour. Enga will surely change but will be a process of changes. The people of Enga should be 'influenced' in their way of live and thinking, then change will occur. Now, the MPs have a direct responsibility to the people of Enga, and engans are the most sensible people in PNG, they will listen to the MPs, if the MPs are serious about combating tribal fights.

For us educated engans, education has already influenced ourselves and we shouldn't be thinking about tribalism. We should strive to create a United Enga, indeed Enga is 'One People, One Language and One Province.' Lets stand for Enga with our MPs.

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[> Subject: Re: Tribal feuds wreck Enga


Author:
Post Courier, Thursday October 4th, 2007
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Date Posted: Thu, Oct 04 2007, 10:43:10am

News


Thursday 04th October , 2007

Revenge killing claims 5

Five people were killed and four others seriously wounded in the Enga province last week in what police belive was a pay-back killing for what happened 20-years ago.
Enga police reported yesterday that in the conflict, eight people, including a Pastor, the Patron of Kompiam Baptist Church, a father and son and another family of three were taken hostage by an enemy tribe but were released following a quick response by police a day later.
Provincial Police Commander Teddy Tei said a man from Wapenamanda was killed by a tribe in the Kompiam area during a bride price ceremony on Wednesday in what has been described as revenge for a murder which occurred 20 years ago.
The next day, some people travelling on a vehicle from Kompiam were caught in an ambush set up by relatives of the deceased along the lower Lai road.
One man was killed and two others were seriously wounded in the attack, Superintendent Tei said.
In the tribal fight which saw the use of firearms between several tribes from Kompiam and Wapenamanda, three other men were alleged to have been killed.
A tribe from Kompiam, realising they were losing the fight decided to kidnap the Pastor and take his vehicle together with seven people from the Lower Lai area of Wapenamanda district who spent the day in the custody of the enemy tribesmen. Wabag Police went into the trouble zone and immediately released the hostages the next day. Superintendent Tei expressed concerns that the people of Enga were killing each other for crimes committed decades ago. “Enga otherwise would be a very peaceful place if the culture of revenge in retaliation to crimes committed many years ago was changed.” Mr Tei said.
While condemning the killing he said it was the job of both educated people and the police to make the people aware that they needed to forget their past and move on. “The world around us is changing. Enga needs to change for the better rather than sticking on to our backward cultures,” he said.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Tribal feuds wreck Enga


Author:
Miok Rutz
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Date Posted: Thu, Oct 04 2007, 05:41:01pm

Goodness, when will these killings ever top?! Payback killings especially those that take years to before retribution is one damn tradition that has to stop or else peace and development will never truly materialize in Enga. Whose fault is it? The government, politicians, businessmen, or the very grassroots themselves?

Sick and tired..

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