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Old 28-06-2004, 11:07 AM
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Petty community politics causing tribal fights – MP Benny Allan

by JAMES KILA

PETTY politics within the “haus-lain” communities in Unggai-Bena should stopped as it is causing difference amongst men and women thus creating tribal conflicts.

The Member for Unggai-Bena, Benny Allan made the call recently at the gathering to mark a launch of the Sayafa Coffee Growers Co-operative at Megunafu village in the upper-Bena area of Eastern Highlands province.

Mr Allan encourage young men to change their attitudes of tribal warfare and resort to peace and development in their communities for benefit the future generation and the community as a whole

“These little politics in the haus-lain over land should stop. Forget about fighting. There is nothing good in fighting,” Mr Allan stated.

“I called on every young men in Unggai-Bena to stop investing in guns,” he stated strongly.

Since elected into office in the 2002 National Elections, Mr Allan, the easy-going former high school teacher was faced with a tremendous task of containing law and order problem in his electorate, especially tribal fights.

Five major tribal fights were going on in his electorate which resulted in substantial loss of properties and many lives. Consequently, many villages were scattered, some burnt down and people were living in fear.

Faced with this enormous task, Mr Allan tried his very best by utilizing local level government representatives, Churches and communities to bring warring parties together to settle those disputes.

The major tribal fights in the area include Mohueto, Kapoigu, Sekago and Hofaga. Of the five, four have signed cease fire and are only waiting final peace agreement.

Since the tribal fights began many villagers were living in fear. Men, women and children had to forgo some of their daily activities such as gardening, going hunting or even going town in fear of being killed by their enemy tribesmen.

“What will you gain out of fighting. You must now understand that you are losing because of fighting,” Mr Allan stated strongly.

The tribal fights in these areas have cause major destruction to villages, infrastructure and importantly the coffee gardens, which is the people’s main source of cash income.

“When you fight you are destroying the good investment you are putting such as coffee gardens,” the member said.

Mr Allan also told the people not to waste their time playing cards and sitting idle in the villages smoking marijuana. It only deters development and hinders changes to happen in their communities.

“When you waste your time playing cards and sitting idle that’s when you are short of money,”

“You must work. Think like grown up men and women because you have a future. One fine day you will have children and your children will ask you where his or her investments are?”

“I’m sure you will be sorry in future seeing your children without any form of investment. The biggest fault is you. In fact, you were the one who was responsible for his or her future but you failed miserably,” Mr Allan said.

Ends……/
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