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PNG Post-Courier

Papua New Guinea police in East New Britain have launched a 21-day operation to clamp down on community conflicts in the province.

Police operation camps have also been set up at conflict hotspots.

ENB provincial police commander Chief Inspector Januarius Vosivai said the aim of the operation was to ease tension to allow the next processes to start.

The Gelegele resettlement, Nangananga and Takubar are among other crime hotspots being closely monitored by police.

Chief Inspector Vosivai said the two weeks of the term 2 school holidays had been the peak of community fights in the province.

He said school-aged children — mostly boys — were involved in the confrontations in the communities.

“Community fights is fuelled by petty criminal activities and when people do not report such matters to authorities and take it upon themselves, it further escalates,” he said.

Collaborative efforts
Authorities and local leaders are taking collaborative efforts to restore peace as well as seeking long term resolutions to the conflicts.

Police response units have set up camps in the fighting zones and are monitoring the situation.

Meanwhile, authorities in the province have initiated a peace process to be staged at the Gelegele resettlement area in the Rabaul district today.

Community leaders at Gelegele have also urged youth to let the authorities deal with the matter while they refrain from instigating further violence.

Several meetings at the Kabiu local level government chamber in Rabaul had been held with each rival community convening to stabilise tension within the resettlement area.

“We are doing all we can to restore peace in our community, it is sad to see homes ransacked, houses burnt down and families fleeing for their lives,” a local leader said.

Republished with permission.

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