The Okuk Highway's Roadblocks Cleared

MOUNT HAGEN (WESTERN HIGHLANDS) - Roadblocks on the Okuk Highway in Western Highlands have been cleared following a 10-hour blockage by tribesmen protesting an Electoral Commission decision to fail elections in some local level governments in the Highlands.

Traffic between Kim Pawa and Panga, a 4km section of the highway, was completely blocked by Andakelkang tribesmen around 5am yesterday after Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen declared failed elections in five LLGs in their province.

Provincial police commander Supt Martin Lakari described the roadblocks as criminal and urged the protestors to pursue the matter through proper means.

“I know you have reasons to show your frustration, but this is not a right approach taken to get attention from the government,” he said.

The locals resisted several attempts by police to clear the road  in the morning, demanding an answer from Trawen before they could allow traffic to flow and planes to land and take off from Kagamuga.

The protestors finally allowed police to clear the road at 3pm yesterday, Lakari said. [TheNational]
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