I am from Enga province but I grew up in other parts of PNG. One of the main reason why we never decided to spent a long time there was because of continuos violence, especially tribal fights. You just never know when one might erupt. Anything, even from minor argument or brawl can lead to an all out tribal warfare.
During this election Enga will be one one of the hot spots. A high risk province for violence.
It is therefore not surprising that an attempt has been made to kill one of Enga’s young leaders. PNG deputy prime minister and member for Kandep, Don Polye was nearly killed during a political rally. He was saved by the quick reaction of his body guards. Two of his body guards were wounded. It has been alledged that this attempt on his life (or maybe it was meant to intimidate him) was organised by a rival candidate.
With the known history of lack of prosecution in PNG, I am sure the culprit or maybe culprits will not be caught.
I remember some years back when there was a committee that went all around PNG compiling a report on the guns problem in PNG. Enga was pointed out as one of the high risk areas because of the number of guns that might be circulating. And it was further mentioned that the 2007 national elections would see an increase in gun-related violence in Enga. The government of PNG did nothing about the report.
I am from Enga and I can honestly say that owning a gun or guns by a clan is seen as something that will boost the status and the powers of that clan. I also think individuals from those clans that are known to possess guns get away with trouble because everyone know they have guns and no clan wants to be at war (tribal war) with them. These guns are also displayed in public parades as a show of power during events such as “compensation ceremonies”.
It was predicted. Nothing was done. Now what was predicted has happened!