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  • CPNG Communications Desk

Catholic Church Mediates Peace in Kandep District

Kandep, Wabag, Enga Province: Tribal fights are common throughout the Enga Province. Since the 2022 National General Elections, there were five different tribal fights in the Kandep District with one directly related to the elections.

(Picture: Warring tribe leaders with Caritas Team and Bishop Justin Ain Soongie)


Due to the inability of the law and order officials in the province to curb these fights, they have been going on for several months now, costing many lives and destruction to properties worth millions of kina.


In this volatile District, there is now hope for change after the Diocesan Caritas Office in Enga, conducted two intensive awareness trainings on social issues and violence at Mogal Outstation of Kumbanda Council Ward in Upper Wage. A local Caritas Peace Mediation Team was formed by representatives from surrounding communities and leaders from different Churches, with the specific role of negotiating peace between the warring tribes.


The Caritas Peace Mediation Team is headed by Mr. Thomas Wambu, the Catechist of Mogal Outstation of Mang Parish, and a member of the Diocesan Caritas Committee, with his assistant, the Chairperson of Karekare Village Court, Mr. James Kep. The team made several visits to different warring tribes, who welcomed the initiative taken by the Catholic Church to facilitate peace.


On October 11th, 2023, a total of eighteen tribes of Upper Wage, publicly promised not to engage anymore in tribal fights and other social problems. This promise was made by young men representing the Yapakarut, Kai, Kunalin, Kope, Lyumbain, Epe, Waitin, Pe, Epes, Nom, Sui, Pyandain, Kunis, Pakapu, Wayapu, Kimalai, Woala and Lesan tribes.


This occasion was witnessed by Bishop Justin Ain Soongie, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wabag, members of the Diocesan Caritas Team, and villagers from the different communities.


Mr. Wambu also appealed to the member for Kandep and Minister for DHERST and Sports, Hon. Don Pomb Polye, to support development projects in their area.


Bishop Justin reiterated that tribal fights bring nothing good but only death and destruction to the community and that it must be stopped. He challenged the people to work their lands to be economically productive and to invest in their children’s education.


“Stop resorting to tribal fights to settle disputes but address issues amicably through peaceful means. Go to Church and be converted,” he added.


The leaders of the community expressed their gratitude to the work of Caritas in Enga and said that this day would be remembered and celebrated annually.

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