100 PNG security forces arrive in Porgera, tension eases

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The Porgera mine and township of Paiam
The Porgera mine and township of Paiam ... calmer with only a few war cries heard. Image: PNGblogs

By Miriam Zarriga in Mt Hagen

About 100 Papua New Guinea security personnel have arrived in Porgera, Enga Province, amid the fighting that saw 17 dead, 100 families displaced and homes destroyed over the weekend.

The arrival of the PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) in Porgera on late Sunday evening has eased the tension inside the mining township.

On Sunday about 5pm, more than 15 ten-seater vehicles with PNGDF soldiers arrived in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands, to be deployed to Porgera.

The contingent arrived late in Porgera with only a few war cries heard around the township.

Police Commissioner David Manning said: “A significant number of police and military personnel will be on the ground to address the issue at Porgera”.

When asked if armoured vehicles may be deployed to Porgera, Manning said: “The vehicles will not be deployed for this incident, an assessment of the situation on the ground is requiring a quicker response and that is the option I took.”

Mobile Squad 5 arrives
Mobile Squad 5 has arrived in Porgera to assist PNGDF with provincial police commander Chief Inspector Epenes Nili.

Police in Enga are seeking assistance from the Enga provincial government.

“The provincial government will be assisting with logistics and other necessary assistance,” Chief Inspector Nili said.

“Mobile Squad 5 arrived in Wabag late yesterday afternoon.

“They got organised last night and departed to Porgera at 4am.”

He said the situation had cooled down.

Miriam Zarriga is a PNG Post-Courier reporter. Republished with permission.

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