The ongoing tribal clash in Western Highland’s Dei district is escalating as gruesomely depicted by disturbing images of a beheading on social media this week.
This is a concern to Public Service Minister and MP for Dei Westly Nukundi Nukundj who is aware of this clash and has appealed to both sides (the Kimka and Rolgoka Tribes) to lay down their arms.
That’s the word from First Secretary to the Public Service Minister Thomas Jim Nori, in an interview with Legend FM News this week.
“The perception now is that many believe that the MP is not aware of aware of what is happening in the district and is not doing anything however, that is not the case.”
“Since this tribal fight started, Minister Nukundj dispersed district police command and engaged churches especially the Evangelical Lutheran Church. To date, this has cost the district administration K200, 000 covering police, peace and good order committee, and the churches involvement.”
Mr Nori further claimed that the police were stationed in the fighting zone until a policeman was shot and they withdrew because the villagers involved in the tribal fight have more sophisticated guns than the ones that policemen have.
It is understood that Minister Nukundj is making two appeals at this time; the first is for the Western Highlands Provincial Government to convene a Provincial Executive Council meeting and declare the area a fight zone.
“Minister Nukundj has already requested an urgent meet from the Western Highlands Governor Paias Wingti and the Provincial Administrator Joseph Neng to convene the PEC as soon as possible and declare this area in Dei a fight zone.”
“Only once this happens and the fighting zone has been declared can Minister Nukundj then reach out to the Police Minister for assistance in his district.”
The next call the Dei MP has made is an appeal to the elites and community leaders of both the Kimka and Rolgoka Tribes not to take sides and encourage this clash through the supplying of firearms and/or ammunition.
"Nori stated that Minister also expressed his concern about where such sophisticated guns are coming from, as a villager cannot afford guns; much less ammunition."
Meantime,Legend FM News was able to speak with Western Highlands Provincial Administrator Joseph Neng today for a response to the Dei MP’s request.
Mr Neng said this fighting has escalated with much loss of life on both sides, and property destroyed and they will convene a meet soon to discuss the next course of action.
“We are looking at getting reports from police and sitting down with the fight zone committee to look at the possibility of declaring the area in Dei district a fighting zone.”
However, Mr Neng did say that such a declaration was expected to be costly and he would require the support of not only the local MP and current Public Service Minister Westly Nukundi Nukundj, but also the provincial and national government too.
Mr Neng added,“I am only waiting on the provincial police to submit a situation report before I am able to decide the next step we will take.”