40 Years of Tribal Fighting Ended Between Two Kerowaghi Sub-clans

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By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV News, Mt Hagen

Two sub-clans in Kerowaghi Electorate in Simbu Province have made peace after over 4 decades of tribal fighting.

A peace ceremony, witnessed by their local MP Bari Palmer, was held over the weekend between the Dambakanem and the Ukumkanem sub-clans of Kumai tribe in Kerowaghi Electorate. Both parties promised not to resort to tribal fighting as a means to solve issues and to embrace change. Community leaders, Catholic Church representatives, and the Police were also present to witness the occasion.

In honouring traditional rituals, the two sub-clans drank sugar cane juice together to seal their promises. In Chimbu culture, drinking sugar cane during a peace ceremony customarily symbolizes peace between two warring groups. This peace ceremony is the sixth to be held in a bid to stop tribal fights in that area.

For over forty years, two sub-clans have fought the fight of their ancestors over land disputes. The continuous tribal fighting forced the closure of the police station at Kup LLG, health posts, schools and other government services.

Local leaders say they have realized that these tribal fights have costed them access to vital government services. They have now pledged not to carry on the fight of their fore-father’s, and pleaded with their elected leaders to bring basic services. MP, Bari Palmer has urged his people to change their attitude for services to reach them.

Simbu Provincial Police Commander, Jacob Singura has also called on the Local MP and the Governor to help build a police station in that area to curb law and order problems.

Meanwhile, elites of the society have been urged to return to their communities and introduce peaceful alternatives for settling issues. The Catholic Mission, which is popular in the Kup LLG, have done awareness but more support is required of everyone.

Simbu Provincial Government Rep Steven So shared the similar sentiments. He has urged locals to look for other avenues to solve their problems, rather than resorting to tribal fighting.

Vasinatta Yama

graduated from Divine Word University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts, with majors in Journalism and Public Relations, as well as minors in International Relations and Diplomatic Studies. Her current focus is reporting on court and crime stories as part of the news team. She constantly strives to improve her skills in investigative reporting.

Vasinatta Yama