Warring groups reconcile after 40 years

Caption: Time to celebrate! A JUBILANT Huli tribesman and one of the candidates for Port Moresby North-east Electorate, Vincent Binalia Dimugu (middle) has all the reason to lift his hands high and shout for joy last Sunday when he brought together two ethnic groups together from Tari and Goilala to end an ethnic clash in the city that has been ongoing for more than 40 years.

By PATRICK PANUA

MOREBY North-east candidate, Vincent Dimugu has initiated a historical peace ceremony to end a 40-year ethnic clash between the Tari people from Hela and Goilalas from Central Province.

The fighting between the two ethnic groups was started a long time ago and back in 2006 several Taris and Goilalas were killed when they clashed at Tete settlement in Gerehu and 9 Mile settlement.

Mr Dimugu said the conflict had claimed many lives, destruction of properties and when bus and taxis stopped services in fear of the groups, it brought government and business houses in the city to a stop.

He said bus operators could not operate, school children stayed at home and mothers at the major market places like Gordon, Gerehu and 9 Mile felt unsafe to go about their daily activities.

According to community leaders of the Hulis, Tari and the Goilalas at the 9 Mile market, numbering more than 2000 population of these areas have not seen eye to eye.

Huli community leader, Simon Ekanda said the Taris and the Goilalas were very good friends who meet each other during 1960s when Tari’s first arrived in Port Moresby.

Last Sunday, Mr Dimugu and his tribe from Tari, slaughtered two cows, bought more than K30,000 worth of store goods with garden food and led a peace ceremony.

“There has been in fighting all these years between these groups.

The ethnic differences among these groups for the last 40 years have been daunting and it has affected our businesses one way or the other, “he said.

“I am a small business entrepreneur who does business and lives in Nine Mile and I have witnessed business suffering because of the fights between these groups. Children have also suffered and not gone to school in fear of ethnic infighting.”

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