Police Call For Community Participation

Investigations into Lae’s ethnic clashes have achieved limited results over the past two weeks. 

Lae police boss Iven Lakatani says they haven’t made any breakthrough with their investigations into these recent incidents that continue to taint the image of Morobe province.


Mr. Lakatani said they cannot bring any person involved in settlement violence to justice, until they have enough of a case against them and he again called for community support in handing in the suspects involved in the two different ethnic clash incidents.


“People know the trouble-makers. They clothe them and they feed them. But they are not sharing this vital information with the police,” Lakatani said.


The fighting initially occurred between the Kabwums and Simbu’s at Limki settlement on the outer suburbs of Lae city.


A little over a week ago it happened again; this time between the Buka and Sepik communities at the back-road area.


It has now become a common habit of every settlement in Lae to know the troublemakers, yet withhold evidence.


But with strong cultural ties between the people in these settlements, handing over one of their own to the police may not be an easy decision to make.


In terms of the ethnic division, it hasn’t been an easy task for the police to bring the people responsible to justice.


“The people have to take on the responsibility as well, and not put pressure on us police to complete the investigations,” Lakatani said.


The Lae police, meanwhile, are relying on sketchy information to lead them to the troublemakers.


And much of that information, unfortunately, does not look promising.

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