The United Nations in Papua New Guinea strongly condemns the killing of over 53 people in the highlands province of Enga, and calls for an immediate cessation of violence and possible retaliation following the killings.

“The increasing use of modern weapons exacerbates the tribal fightings and their impact on human lives. The mass killing of over 53 people in Enga last weekend, by far the deadliest in recent years, is a case in point”, said Richard Howard, the UN Resident Coordinator in PNG.

In expressing his shock over the photos and videos depicting the mass killings, Howard urged all parties to immediately cease all fighting and called on authorities to fully investigate the killings with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Furthermore, the UN calls for concrete steps to limit the growing ownership and use of small arms in Papua New Guinea, especially in the Highlands region.

The United Nations stands ready to support the Government of Papua New Guinea in addressing its long-standing issues with an ever-increasing illicit flow of arms.

“We remain committed to assist the Government in eliminating tribal violence and to bring lasting peace in the Highlands,” he said.