Fighting groups in Wau make peace

The Finschhafen and Mumeng groups involved in an ethnic clash in Morobe’s Wau-Waria District have reconciled and signed a memorandum of understanding.

The event took place at the Nami Primary School field on Saturday, May 20th, between the Kandes of Finschhafen and the Kapin people from Lekwara, in Mumeng LLG.

Present to witness the program was host MP, Marsh Narewec, Morobe Governor, Luther Wenge, and Bulolo MP, Sam Basil Jnr.

The Kandes rubbed mud on their bodies while the Kapins rubbed black ashes. Members of both groups placed their hands on their heads and walked in a long procession to assemble in front of the grandstand.

Armed men then proceeded to the front of the grandstand and laid down their firearms and other weapons to signal the start of the peace process.

Morobe Governor, Luther Wenge, applauded the initiative of the leaders of the two ethnic groups, the district administration and Wau Rural Local Level Government council for working together in negotiating peace between the two warring parties.

“Wau-Waria is a new district that was separated from Bulolo district last year and you all should work together to develop the resource rich district going forward,” Wenge said.

“I was educated at Mumeng Primary School from 1970-71 as a kid and I know that the people of Mumeng were peace loving people.”

Wenge said the people of Mumeng gave land to his people from Wain, in Nawaeb District, to work as alluvial miners, where they lived together as peace loving people for many years.

The fighting that erupted on March 26 last year led to the loss of lives, destruction to properties and displaced hundreds of families from the two ethnic groups.

Meantime, the two groups exchanged bales of rice with garden food and nine pigs to successfully conclude months of peace negotiations between the leaders of the warring parties.