By ZACHERY PER
FIVE people were shot dead in a tribal conflict in Unggai-Bena district in Eastern Highlands province only days after MPs visited the area and called for an end to tribal fighting, The National reports.
In a dawn raid on Monday, Nagamie clansmen ransacked their arch-rival Bogerigu village at Katagu and killed five people and seriously injured another two.
Eastern Highlands police commander Supt Teddy Tei confirmed the killing yesterday.
Just last Tuesday, Unggai-Bena MP and Minister for Environment and Conservation Benny Allan, Works Minister Don Polye, Education Minister James Marape, Obura-Wonenara MP John Boito and Lufa MP Yawa Silupa were in the area to launch projects worth K48 million.
The district has in the past been ravaged by tribal fights involving the use of guns, with many lives lost.
During the launch of the projects, the MPs called for an end to tribal fights.
But the plea by the leaders appears to have fallen on deaf ears.
“The clan mobilised and went to Katagu and attacked their rival Bogerigu clan.
“Church leaders at Katagu retrieved bodies of the five killed and buried them while two others seriously injured were admitted at the Goroka Base Hospital,” Supt Tei said.
The two are in critical condition at the intensive care unit of the hospital.
Supt Tei said both warring clans originated from the Kafe area in neighbouring Henganofi district.
The tribal fight erupted some years ago and has been an ongoing battle ever since.
On Aug 29 last year, Supt Tei and Mr Allan brokered a peace agreement where leaders of both factions signed agreement to stop the fight.
This peace agreement has now been breached, and Supt Tei said the Nagamie clan was to blame for launching the attack.
“Despite the time, resources and efforts we wasted to negotiate peace, the Nagamie clansmen decide to attack their rival. “I strongly condemn their actions,” Supt Tei said