Women’s group outraged by Porgera killing

The Porgera District Women’s Association (PDWA) representing the women of Porgera, Paiela and Hewa regions is outraged at the recent discovery of the body of a woman within the Porgera Mine boundary.

The deceased had sustained gun and knife wounds, believed to be caused by her tribal enemies from Tari.

PDWA President Sarah Erasi described the killing as completely unacceptable.

“How many more women and children should die like this? There is even more fear in our women and mothers because the law and order situation is now out of control, to a level where we are now being killed like animals as if our lives do not matter. This has to stop,” Erasi pleaded.

A few weeks ago at Mt Kare, six people were killed by tribal enemies. A boy under 10 years and a teenage girl were some of those killed.

“Criminals and warring enemy tribes from outside Porgera have come into Porgera and have now taken control of communities and land because many have guns and other dangerous weapons,” she said.

“There is no respect for authority or genuine landowners, including women and children.

“As a woman leader in Porgera, I see that the situation has become highly dangerous. Tribal fighting in Tari has spilled over into the Porgera SML communities and our own women and children are living in fear on their own land. This is completely unacceptable.

“We cannot live in fear for the rest of our lives. We call on the government to quickly step in and address the situation. We do not accept the continuous killing of women and children.

“I appeal to our good Prime Minister to come to Porgera and talk to the Tari warriors to go back to Tari and conduct fighting on their own land.

“We see that the Porgera mine’s open pit is now a tribal battle field. Enemy tribes are going into the pit with their powerful guns, bush knives and axes looking for their enemies. The pit belongs to the mine operation and there is complete disregard for law.

“We want both the national and the provincial government to intervene immediately to bring in some kind of order and to stop this unacceptable level of law and order.

“If this situation continues to get worse, our concern apart from community safety is that the Porgera mine will be forced to shut down and communities and local businesses benefiting from the mine will suffer.

“Porgera District Women’s Association is very concerned with the level of violence against women and children who have become victims of this situation.

“Again, we appeal to the Prime Minister to urgently consider the Porgera situation and implement some immediate solutions.

“We want to live peacefully like before so my good God-fearing Prime Minister, I call on you to please act now before we see another group of women and children killed.”

(The Mine’s machinery is forced to a standstill when illegal miners enter the operational areas)

Press release