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A peace ceremony between the Angore PDL 8 landowners and Exxon Mobil in Hela took place last Thursday.
The Mineral Resources Development company facilitated the peace negotiations and the eventual peace ceremony.
This brings to an end long standing tensions and issues affecting the operations of Exxon Mobil in the area.
Tensions were high since the destruction and vandalism of machinery and property in June last year after landowners protested over a non-payment K 35 million for “project security”.
Last Thursday’s truce was witnessed by Exxon Mobil, Government representatives and state agencies, MRDC, Kumul Petroleum Holdings, Department of Petroleum and Energy , Oil Search and landowner leaders.
On behalf of the 59 ILG Chairmen of Angore, Malex Au, a young landowner leader and chairman of the ATALA apologised for the destruction and damage to properties and ongoing issues which have been interrupting the company’s operations in Angore.
“This is our way of taking back PNG, we are starting in Angore by bringing peace to our area”, said Au.
“I take this time to say sorry to Exxon Mobil. I take full responsibility of my peoples’ actions and today, I personally say sorry”, said Au.
Au has invited Exxon Mobil to resume operations in Angore and assured Exxon Mobile on behalf of his people that issues would be addressed through round table discussions rather than fights in the area which will affect the company’s operations.
Meanwhile MRDC’s general manager for social service Imbi Tagune called on the people to remember the day and keep peace in the area.
He told them that Hela is looking after PNG’s garden which is the LNG Project.
“God has blessed Hela and there must be peace here so you can enjoy the blessings. We at MRDC recognise the importance of peace. We proved this when we went into Beneria, a No Go zone to open bank accounts and we also brought peace there,” Tagune from Ialibu in Southern Highlands said.
“Angore must keep peace because with peace comes services and developments,” Tagune added.
Angore school children who attended the peace ceremony came with placards appealing for peace in their community and for services to be delivered.
Community leaders presented 15 pigs to Exxon Mobil as a sign of expressing remorse.