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24 June 2018

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Here's a question for you Daniel.

Why are highlanders so violent?

And why do they seem to enjoy being violent?

It's something that I've wondered about for the last fifty years or so.

Internecine warfare was once widespread throughout Papua New Guinea but coastal and lowland people have long abandoned the practice.

Why haven't the highlanders?

Is it because they are such a conservative society? Conservative governments are notorious for taking their people to war. Is that what's going on?

The wars of the conservatives are usually about economic gain.

What sort of gain do highlanders expect from their little wars?

Clearly the government of Papua New Guinea is not in control of the escalating law and order problems in the country.

Shocking news has just reached Wabag that a young teaching couple, their two children and relatives were massacred at a road block as they were travelling home to Kompiam for the term break.

Soldiers from Moem Barracks deployed to Wabag to quell a tribal fight between two tribes on the fringes of town were sent to Kompiam to retrieve the bodies and find those missing.

The names of the family and relatives killed were Sir Tei Secondary School teacher John Pyapenge, his brother Dalu Pyapenge and Luke Pano.

His wife Faith Pyapenge who is also a high school teacher is in the Intensive Care Unit. Their infant son and Faith’s mother are still missing as well as other relatives who were travelling with them.

Reports say the Pyapenge brothers were from a different tribe and not from two other tribes from Kompiam engaged in a prolonged tribal warfare involving high powered guns.

There are also on-going tribal wars involving guns in Laiagam and Porgera.

Strange curfew: “By yesterday Mendi police commander Chief Inspector Gideon Kauke was able to say the town was operating normally with a 6am-6pm curfew in place.” Perhaps he means 6pm-6am. Either way, it’s not normal to have a curfew as he claims.

The presence of high powered guns in the region poses a threat to any peace initiative.

Guns must be controlled before talking about peace.

The state of emergency and the deployment of troops are to quieten down the hostility only. When the SOE is over and the troops have returned, can the people change from their hostile behavior and live a normal live?

This is anybody's guess.

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