Fighting at LNG site poses threat to workers: Police

PNG Liquefied Natural Gas Plant near Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.Photographer: Richard Dellman via ExxonMobil Corp.

The National aka The Loggers Times | November 5, 2018

POLICE are concerned that bad blood between a group of Highlanders and locals at the liquefied natural gas site in Gulf over a sorcery-related killing is posing a threat to the company.

Provincial police commander Inspector Silva Sika said the killing at an LNG site village had led to frequent rows and fighting, making it unsafe for the workers.

The deceased was originally from Lufa in Eastern Highlands.

“Police will be deployed again to the site to settle the situation and protect others from outside (the province) working there,” Sika said.

He said relatives of the deceased had attacked the suspect’s brother at the Wabo sub-station village.

Earlier they kidnapped four locals using guns and bush knives and destroyed gardens and crops. Police had settled the matter but trouble started again. Police said they had to make arrests but after few weeks tensions rose again between the groups.

“I have done peace and agreements between the groups but it suddenly started again,” he said.

The deceased was found floating in the river near the village close to the LNG site.

At least one person out of 10 accused of sorcery has been killed and one-third were permanently injured, a joint study by three universities in three provinces revealed.

The research recorded 357 sorcery accusation cases from Enga, Bougainville and Port Moresby between January 2016 and October 2017.

There were 185 victims and at least 20 people killed, with a large number suffering permanent physical injuries. Australian National University Associate Professor Miranda Forsyth said the study was undertaken by the university, the PNG National Research Institute and Divine Word University supported by the Australian government through Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Programme.

Forsyth said of the cases identified in Enga, at least 37 per cent of the incidents resulted in killing through the use of torture, followed by seven per cent of cases in Bougainville and four per cent of cases in Port Moresby.

She said that four per cent of cases in Enga resulted in tribal fighting.

The study revealed that 63 per cent of the total in Enga resulted in major physical violence and so did 36 per cent in Bougainville and 31 per cent in Port Moresby,”

Sixty-seven per cent of the cases in Enga resulted in the burning of the accused, seven per cent in Bougainville and eight per cent in Port Moresby.

Other forms of accusation included forced imprisonment, damage of property, threats, minor physical violence and clothing removed.

The PNG government developed a comprehensive sorcery and witchcraft accusation-related violence (SARV) national action plan in 2015 to address the problem of sorcery accusation-related violence.

The Australian government is working in partnership with Papua New Guinea in all core areas through the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Programmeand justice services and stability for development programmes.

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Filed under Human rights, Papua New Guinea

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