Monday, 8 August 2016

The traditional Melanesian approach to peace: How a tribal fight in Goilala was resolved through Melanesian Way.

A peace ceremony held on the 08th August, 2016 near the border of Central and Morobe that has paved the way for a road linking Papua and New Guinea.

The ceremony in the mountainous Gagavi village in Goilala District, Central Province, will also make way for the installation of a VSat communication network to enable government services to reach these remote areas.

Goilala MP and deputy Pangu Pati leader William Samb said the road and communication infrastructure were being built with government funds so no one owned them. 

“Before these infrastructures are built, there has to be peace,” he said. “There is no point in putting up the VSat dish and it gets destroyed when there is no peace. Likewise, in road construction, equipment is destroyed and workers are harassed if there’s no peace.” The ceremony was held to end a tribal conflict between Eli and Bisowa villages in the Kunimaipa area of the Guari LLG.

The conflict started in 2014 over a domestic fight where a man killed his wife in Bisowa. The deceased’s relatives from Eli retaliated, resulting in seven villagers being killed. Neighbouring villagers intervened and fighting escalated, resulting in the withdrawal of basic governments services like health and education in the Kunimaipa area. The withdrawal of government services affected over 1,000 people. The Bisowa villagers fled the area to find refuge in friendly neighbouring villages.

Villagers performing traditional cultural dances to mark the peace ceremony.
Source: The National Newspaper/Port Moresby/2016.

Photographs courtesy of Goilala District Development Forum /2016.

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