Highlands News

Body of Dead Soldier Handed to Relatives in Goroka

by Jack Lapauve Jr – EM TV News, Port Moresby

Body of the deceased Defence Force Soldiers shot dead by gunmen in Hela Province late last year was handed over to his family and relatives, in Kompri valley Henganofi district Eastern Highlands Province yesterday.

Members of Defence Force Soldiers in Port Moresby and Igam barracks in Lae Morobe Province drove the casket of late Warrant Officer Allan Jomuno up the highlands highway.

At the handing over ceremony in Kompri valley, community leaders Bill Nakambi and Forereme Marereme thanked the Defence Force Soldiers for finally bringing the body back to his village.

He said they waited for eight weeks before the body is brought to them.

‘‘We are concerned at the manner in which late Jomuno was killed and barbarically butchered,” Nakambi said.

Marereme said they are frustrated now because it has taken too long but responsible authorities had not been able to establish any form of dialogue and negotiations between Hela and Eastern Highlands Provincial Governments to mediate to reach peace.

Nakambi and Marereme called on Police Minister and local Henganofi MP, Robert Atiayafa, with Governor, Julie Soso Akeke, were given  a petition notice to find a neutral venue to mediate with the Hela people and to provide logistical support and to get to the root cause of the shooting and killing of these innocent soldiers.

 “We also respect our late brother as an officer of law enforcement body, we are holding back our frustrations. I call on Hela people to come and we solve the problem,” he said.

Two soldiers while on duty guarding the Komo airport when armed Hela men shot them, the soldier from Kavieng, New Ireland, died instantly while late Yomuno died later at Tari Hospital.

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