The Provincial Police Commander Acting Superintendent Epenes Nili said the declaration of Tsak LLG as a fighting zone came into effect on Friday 7 January.
When issuing the Preventive Order (PO) to the parties involved in the fighting at Wambus Village and Sapos Village respectively, PPC Nili said the Enga Provincial Government Peace and Good Order Community, decided to declare the area a fighting zone to prevent a spillover.
The PPC said the tribal fight between the Yopo and Palinau clans of Sikin Tribes, started on November 20, 2021, over a piece of land.
A Palinau man was attacked and cut into pieces by Yopo clan over the land dispute issue.
The Palinau clan retaliated by raiding the Yopo clan territory. They killed five people, one of whom was a woman. This triggered the tribal warfare, resulting in the loss of more than 40 lives and destruction of properties worth millions.
Yopo clan is now completely wiped out. The warfare also affected the Mama Clan of the Yambaten tribe displacing innocent men, women and children.
Security forces who went to quell the situation were overpowered as the two conflicting clans used high powered weapons to attack and kill each other. Even key stakeholders could not bring the situation under control.
“We will not tolerate the war warriors to continue to kill each other and observe the destruction of properties,” PPC Nili said while addressing neighboring clans.
“No one wins in the tribal fight. Both parties are losers.
“You will not continue to fight and sabotage innocent lives,” he warned the warring clans.
PPC Nili reiterated that Tsak LLG has essential government services including schools, health center, Israeli Agriculture Farm and emerging hydro power project. He said security forces will enforce the PO and effect arrest on anyone who breaches it.
Random police road blocks will be set up at Akom entry point into Tsak and Mokurumanda/Tsak road conjunction to monitor suspicious movement of people and gun smuggling.
The PPC appealed to community leaders to partner with police in implementing law and order, and negotiate for peace and reconciliation.