MP wants recognition of tribes

Okapa MP, Saki Soloma, has called on the Government to recognise two tribes within his electorate, located within the Elk-Antelope gas field project for the Papua LNG Project.

He asked Petroleum Minister Fabian Pok in Parliament on Thursday, saying the Gimi and Kamusa Tribes are close neighbours of the Pawaya speaking tribe on the Gulf side of the border and who are already signed as a landowner clan in the project.

“Is the Minister aware that the tribes have been trying in vain to get recognition from the government and the developer ever since the exploration stage?

“Can the Minister do something to recognise the two tribes, Gimi and Kamusa in Eastern Highlands, to be part of the project and part of Benefit Sharing Agreement?”

Minister Pok said so far, Total was doing a good job in conducting social mapping, clan vetting and landowner identification.

He said he has been briefed on the issue but will await a complete report from Papua LNG developer, Total E&P.

“Total is doing a good job, something we didn’t do in PNG LNG is the responsibility of Project operator to get LO identification,” stated the Minister.

“I have been briefed by Total but I will not make a statement and say these people will be recognised, I will wait for Total to come to me and brief me.

“Once they have completed it, the clan vetting or landowner identification, all these issues, the department will then verify it,” said the Minister.

Cedric Patjole