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EDITORIAL: The PNG Post-Courier

Some people are literally making a killing in Enga.

Yes, they really are.

Hired gunmen are getting rich by the day and picking up women and girls as payments as well, leaving deaths and destruction in their wake in what is apparently becoming a booming industry.


The news is disturbing, to say the least, for a province that has got so much going at the moment.

As the illegal industry takes root by the day, we do not see this deadly business which is already stretching the limits of tolerance and the resources of the law and justice sector, ending soon.

Police Commissioner David Manning promised more manpower will be deployed into the province to assist those on the ground to curb the tribal fighting.

At the same time, he is asking for help from the provincial leaders to get down to their communities to stop the fighting and killing.

Grabbed world attention
The recent massacre in Wapenamanda has grabbed world attention again and this time the Australian government, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese describing the event as “very disturbing”, promising more technical aid to PNG to address this madness.

Tribal fighting has always been a curse in Enga for years. What started as bow and arrow affairs in the past have now gone high-tech with the deployment of drones, Google maps and high-powered guns, resulting in the high number of deaths

Genocide is the word to describe what is happening.

Horror . . . the bodies of tribesmen killed in Wapenamanda
Horror . . . the bodies of tribesmen killed in Wapenamanda piled up alongside the Highlands Highway. Image: PNG Post-Courier

Powerful tribes are eliminating the weak, and leaving the disciplinary forces helplessly watching by the roadsides as the massacre continues to go.

There is no concern for the lives killed, the injuries or the plight of the hundreds of mothers and children caught up in this mayhem.

In the words of Provincial Police Commander, Superintendent George Kakas, businessmen, educated elites and well-to-do people fund these activities, hire gunmen and purchase firearms and ammunitions.

We would like to add politicians to the list because we suspect that they procured the weapons and left them with their supporters during the elections and these guns are now coming out.

How could they sleep peacefully?
How could these people find the peace to sleep peacefully in the night when their money, the technology, the guns and bullets they supplied are killing in big numbers and the murderers are uploading images of the dead bodies online for the world to see?

Prime Minister James Marape recently promised new legislation to curb domestic terrorism and we wait to see whether this law will ever get passed by Parliament.

This law is needed now to make the facilitators and the killers account for their actions.

In the interim, the government must declare a State of Emergency in Enga to deploy the full force of the law into the fighting zones to deal with the perpetrators.

They are known to the police, the leaders and even the Prime Minister.

What is stopping the police from arresting these culprits? Are they above the law? Are they protected species, vested with the power to end lives of other people in this manner?

Entire tribes wiped out
What are we waiting for?

To see entire tribes wiped out from the face of Enga before we move in to collect the bodies, take the women and children to care centres and keep watching from the roadsides.

Enough is enough. Declare the SOE in Enga. Enact the domestic terrorism legislation. Arrest those that facilitate and kill.

So much is going for Enga today and if nothing is done to end this ugly disease, Enga is doomed.

This PNG Post-Courier editorial was originally published under the title “Genocide in Enga” on 21 February 2014. Republished with permission.

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