FRANCIS NII | Supported by the South Pacific Strategic Solutions Writing Fellowship
Last week the provincial education authorities suspended classes for each school in the area due to continuing election-related tribal fighting.
The warfare is between the supporters of Mogerema Sigo Wei MP and runner-up in the 2012 general elections, businessman Michael Korry.
This ongoing conflict has caused much hardship and anguish for the people of Salt and Nomane. The fight started in August last year and now into its seventh month.
Three people had been killed. Others have sustained serious gunshot injuries inflicted by high powered weapons. Property worth thousands of kina has been destroyed.
The Kundiawa police have made several attempts to bring the warring groups together but have failed because the two warlords Korry and Wei have not consented.
The fighting has brought government services to a standstill. Worse, the provincial education authorities suspended classes for schools in the fighting zone and for more than 10 primary,15 elementary and one secondary school in the entire Salt and Nomane Local Level Government area for an indefinite period because teachers have refused to take up their postings in fear of their lives.
Parents are very concerned about the education and future of their children and are calling on the two leaders to end the fight immediately.
This is a deprivation of the children’s right to gain an education, especially at a time when the parents have just been relieved of the burden of tuition fee. It is totally wrong.
The parents, police, provincial authorities and general public of Salt and Nomane are calling on the two leaders to return to Simbu and end the war as soon as practical so schools can start classes and other government services can be restored.
The lives of the innocent majority and the education and future of the children cannot continue to be jeopardised by the political greed and craving of two individuals and their barbaric supporters.
As leaders they must consider the welfare of the innocent majority which includes pregnant mothers and sick people to have access to medical services.
It is hoped that the fight ends. The sooner the better for the people of Salt and Nomane and the entire district.