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Basil Calls for Peace, Law & Order in Wau Township

Newly appointed Papua New Guinea Deputy Prime Minister and Bulolo MP Hon Samuel H Basil has called for peace, law and order to be restored in Wau township and surrounding areas as soon as possible.

“Current police operations must see offenders including arsonists from all parties arrested, investigated and charged. All illegal firearms and ammunition must be confiscated and locked away,” said Mr Basil, who is also Minister for National Planning.

Mr Basil said that the current issue in Wau is not about who are the traditional customary landowners nor who should or should not be residing in Wau township and surrounding areas.

“Any issues regarding land and eviction needs to be brought to the relevant authorities to be appropriately addressed – but only when there is peace, law and order established.

“I note the concerns raised by the Biangai Tribe on the Wau Township and the water supply project. But this cannot be discussed and addressed while ethnic clashes are taking place. Biangai and opposing ethnic leaders of settlements, must stop inciting their young people to violence. They must surrender their own perpetrators and offenders involved in violence and arson to police.”

Mr Basil said that trying to resolve the underlying issues while there is “compounding tension fuelled by violence and arson” by persons on the run or being harboured will only incite matters further that “none of us want”.

He said that peace, law and order must be the primary focus “for all of us as leaders. Our women and children; our elders and school children; workers in Wau town and surrounding must be able to move about without fear and harassment.

“We all want that. So let us work together with the police to achieve that. Once that is done we can work on resolving the underlying social tensions arising from land ownership, settlements and benefits,” he said.

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