Post Courier | November 4, 2019
A group of community leaders from Porgera,in Enga Province is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency in the district.
Porgera district law and order co-ordinator Joe Kuala claimed yesterday that there was chaos in Porgera, especially with the increase in the number of settlers and illegal miners.
Mr Kuala said the law and order situation in the district had worsened to the extent where the mine pit had become a battle field for tribal and ethnic clashes.
He said currently there were 36 police officers on the ground looking after more than 70,000 people and that needed to be seriously looked at.
“High powered guns from Hela and neighboring villages have flooded into the station and this has seen a number of increases of rearms and we are scared as our station is not safe anymore,” Mr Kuala said.
“There is also a high number of illicit activities, including the selling and consumption of home brew and marijuana in public areas. “This has become a day-to-day activity now.”
Mr Kuala said despite attempts to solve tribal conflicts through compensations and mediation hearings, the situation had gone from bad to worse, especially with limited police officers on the ground to provide security and policing for the community.
“We are now calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency in Porgera and sort this law and order issues once and for all. “We cannot continue to live in fear of being shot at or being attacked at our homes and work place,” he said.
“Porgera is a local community station where public servants live however with these issues, many public servants including teachers have refused to work because their lives are being threatened.
“We are asking the minister for Police and Defense and the state to please listen to our pleas and help us by looking into this mess.
“We are willing to work with government to ensure that the future of our children are safe,” he said.