Over seventy police officers are being engaged in a twenty-one day operation in Wau, Morobe Province, following a clash over the weekend between traditional land owners in Wau and settlers from the Waria LLG.
Wau-Bulolo MP, Sam Basil met with both groups today and announced that police will be carrying out this task to identify those responsible for instigating the clash, and also deal with the use of illegal firearms and homebrew.
According to a statement released by Mr. Basil, the clash started when three youth from Wandumi Village in Wau were allegedly attacked by youth from Waria.
In retaliation, the Biangai people from Wau went to the Waria settlement and burned down over thirty houses. There have been two confirmed deaths and others injured.
Basil reiterated that it was a law and order problem and will be treated as such.
“You are in this situation because of some young people from both sides… it’s a law and order situation.”
“Before we find a way forward, the people who are responsible for starting this clash be dealt with by the law.”
Wau police will be assisted by officers from the mobile squad, reserve and auxiliary police, and will be targeting hotspots in Wau Urban, Wau Rural and parts of the Waria LLG.
The operation is being supported by the Bulolo District Development Authority.
By Lucy Kopana, EMTV News, Lae