Following the ONE WEEK ULTIMATUM call, New Ireland PPC, Chief Inspector Felix Nebanat wasted no time in gathering village elders from the hot spot wards of the war zone areas of Lovongai to inform them of his call last week.
“Since the island cannot access news due to lack of coverage, the very people that this message targets are highly unlikely to receive my message,” said Nebanat. Apart from that the Police does not have resources to keep sending personals to and from the island, so the only way to ensure they get the message is to get them into town.
The leaders comprised of clan leaders, village elders, VPC’s, village magistrates, church leaders, public servants from Taskul, ward members and community leaders from wards, 2, 3, 17, 18 and 19 of South and North Lovongai. Conducting the meeting on behalf of PPC Nebanat was OIC, Community Policing, First Constable George Batia who emphasized on the ULTIMATUM given by PPC.
PPC Nebanat gave an ULTIMATUM of “one week” from Monday 13th to Monday 20th of June, which ended this week. All accomplices totaling to approximately 40 to 50 men were called upon to either surrender, or face the full brunt of the law.
PPC Nebanat reassured the community that Police will be re-organizing with whatever limited resources they have and make an insertion into Taskul once he (PPC) can secure funding for the operation. “In the meantime, we are not in a position to name the exact time but we are working around the clock to see how best we can mitigate the situation,” Nebanat said.
Most of the village leaders from the meeting are pleading for Police deployment as they are sick and tired of living in fear and anxiety and being deprived of basic services like schools, health centers, access to services in town and loss of business for Micro SME owners, etc.
According to clan leaders of both parties, the Taskul killing that occurred two weeks ago claims to avenge the death of a father and son duo who were murdered following sorcery allegations. After the murder, Peace Officers and Community Auxiliary Police Officers called for a negotiation to restore peace to no avail.
The latter party who was responsible for the previous killings didn’t turn up for the peace negotiation. This sparked frustration amongst the families of the victims which resulted in the killing at Taskul. It is reported that the exact markings and wounding done to the victims of the recent murder reciprocates the way the previous victims were slaughtered.
“The Lovongai issue is a complex issue and to get to the bottom of it, one has to fully understand the behavioral pattern, the psychological trend, the cultural formation, the foundation of the Lovongai society, the demography and geographical disposition of the area in order to address this long over-due pandemic,” said Nebanat.