Firearms that are being used in the upper Papua New Guinea Highlands especially in tribal clashes are brought in allegedly from Australia by illegal trading along the border of Indonesia and PNG.

Over 200,000 firearms are unregistered in Australia, and some of these weapons are finding their way into tribal fights.

And the route these firearms travel is from Indonesia into PNG before being sold throughout the country.

Police Commissioner David Manning made the statement amid ongoing public debate on domestic terrorism and the use of firearms and ammunition in Enga.

He said that the use of modern weapons and technology including drones is seen as moving away from traditional conflicts and the action is more sinister with the use of high-powered weapons to intimidate locals.

Defence Force acting commanding officer, Commodore Philip Polewara said geographically the country is a challenging environment to look after.

“I can admit that, especially in the southern border, there are holes, where these things do come through.”

There are other government agencies also present securing the border.

“All we look at is the land border to the west with Indonesia, but we don’t look at the sea border to the south and that is a challenge, when we deploy a company to Western province the landmass is huge that 120 men is not enough to cover and so only few areas we provide our presence,” Capt Polewara said.

Meanwhile, Minister for Higher Education Research Science and Technology and Kandep MP Don Polye met with tribal enemies in Enga last Thursday to address the escalating tribal warfare in the province.

He said he held talks with tribes engaging in tribal fights in the province and would swiftly move in to instigate peace talks.

He said the first strategy to clamp down on this unprecedented warfare in Enga is to use the church network in the province to penetrate tribal zones.

Polye said his second move was to explore Kandep district and establish terms of peace between two clans who have been fighting in which more than 20 lives have been lost.

He said both tribes had heard his call to lay down arms and they had obliged, adding that his visit was to seek their views and establish lasting peace.

Polye said the Provincial Peace and Good Order Committee, Mekim Save Operasin (OMS), Church groups, community leaders and advocate groups will be used for the cause.

He said Enga’s tribal conflict was of national interest and should be addressed for the benefit of the country, particularly the opening of Porgera mine.