Saki Soloma

Hela to host new PNGDF battalion

The signing took place today at the PNGDF Headquarters at Murray Barracks, Commander Brigadier General Albert Toropo signed on behalf of the force, whilst PNGDF Secretary Hari John Akipe signed on behalf of the Government and the Hela Provincial Administrator William Bando signed representing the Hela Provincial Government. Hela Governor Philip Undialu and Minister for Defence Saki Soloma witnessed the signing.

West Papuans call for help

The group includes men, women and children.

The West Papuans, from Boven Digoel village, are currently in North Fly District.

Pictures of the West Papuans who crossed over were shared with this newsroom by a reliable source on ground.

Michael Pius said the people began crossing the border in November.

Pius, who is from a mixed parentage of Western Province and West Papua, said their safety in West Papua was not guaranteed because state security cannot protect them.

He said they felt their lives were in danger and so fled across the border.

MP wants recognition of tribes

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?”