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Grieving man said no to revenge in PNG killings, Hela to track down killers

 A grieving father says his tribesmen will not take revenge but allow Papua New Guinea police and the government to deal with the killers of his wife and children.

Alili Urr, who lost his mother, wife, a child and nine other immediate relatives in the massacre of 16 mothers and two infants at Karida village in the Tagali local level government area of Hela last Monday, said that they would cooperate with the government to solve the matter.

“The dead children and the mothers’ spirits are in heaven and praying for peace. These are Sunday schoolchildren and their mothers are prayer warriors,” Urr said.

“This place has never experienced such violence, we usually live in peace with our family.

“The fight is on the other side in Munima village. How it spilt to here is a mystery.

“I’m calling on the provincial government to get all of us to a neutral area and ask why have these killings gone on like this?

“If you also can relocate us to a care centre and feed us with rations. We, the remaining 500 villagers, need to be relocated because we will not stay here.

“The Munima will still come and kill us. Now we want a unit of police or soldiers to be here.”

Another survivor, Andrew Halu, said that he was sleeping in the men’s house and it was day break last Monday (June 8).

“My wife and four children were sleeping in the family house. When I went outside I saw the family house burning.

“My wife was chopped and she is now admitted at the intensive care unit at the Tari hospital. But all four of my children were slaughtered. I was chopped in the arm while I was escaping,” Halu said.

A village leader Hokoko Minapa said there had been no fight like last week’s.

“My people can retaliate. But I said no,” he said.

“The government will do that for us. We will wait for the government action.” he said.

Meanwhile, Heal administrator William Bando says they will support the national government track down the killers of 16 women and two infants at Karida village last Monday.

“We have prayed, had mediation and conducted awareness – to no avail to give peace a chance. So it’s up to the national government to deal with the killers. You can do and use whatever means to track down these killers,” Bando said.

He said when the killing at Munima was six, in retaliation 16 women and two infants were chopped up at Karida.

“It was horrific, especially considering that they were innocent, according to reports.

“So the provincial law and order committee through the enabling Act – the intergroup Tribal Fighting Act – declared Tagali and Hayapuga local level governments as fighting zones.”

The committee also visited the area after the last Monday’s massacre and a 20-man security force are now camping at the Munima Community School. Extra manpower has been requested through PNG Defence Force commander and approval has been granted.

“We want to review the security arrangement with ExxonMobil where we want MS 9 (Tari-based mobile squad) and provincial-based police officers to be deployed to the LNG site on rotational basis,” Bando said.

He said they also wanted ExxonMobil and Oil Search Ltd to build police barracks at Komo and Hides through infrastructure tax credit funds.

“We also want them to build a PNG Defence Force Infantry battalion near Tari town, possibly at the new Hawa Prison. If they can build the multi-million kina National Sports Stadium and so a multi-million kina renovation of the Pineapple Building (Sir Manasupe Haus ) in Port Moresby, there is no reason why they can’t build these infrastructures in the Hela province that host their operations.”

Bando said that when briefing Police Minister Bryan Kramer, acting deputy commissioner David Manning, special service division director acting Chief Supt Julius Tasion and Hela Governor Philip Undialu in Tari on Saturday.

Kramer had led a delegation on a fact-finding two-day trip to Karida village on Friday to prepare a report for the government to respond to the massacre.

He said the police force is preparing a report to present to Prime Minister James Marape to address ongoing tribal fighting in Hela.

“You all know each other and who is involved. We are here to go back, do report to solve this tribal fight in the long term. The arm of the Government is long, so I call on these suspects to surrender,” Kramer said.

“Don’t think that government will not search for you in the jungles. It is not hard for the government to search for you. We can use technology to search for you. I’m here to find out how to deploy manpower (police and soldiers) and logistics (vehicles, communications etc to search for the suspects).

“I know they have escaped to the other places. I’m calling on the men not to retaliate because killings will continue. And when killings continue, then women and children become victims just like this.
“I heard that this fighting started in 2006 and is still on going and killings have been going on. But this is the first time to killing women and children.”

Kramer said they were in Karida because Marape had directed them to go to Tari to assure the people that the government was committed to addressing the issues.


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