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Leader says Aurukun violence must stop

A community leader has urged a stop to violence and retaliation in the Cape York town of Aurukun after residents rioted in the wake of a fatal stabbing on New Year's Day.

Almost a third of Aurukun's 1450-strong community fled to neighbouring areas as violence broke out and more than 200 people allegedly armed themselves and torched houses.

The nearby town of Coen was inundated with evacuees, and other people fled to a makeshift bush camp outside Aurukun.

Mayor Dereck Walpo called for people to return to Aurukun last week after recognising feelings may still be raw about the alleged stabbing murder of a 37-year-old man.

He said "the community needs anger and retaliations to stop".

The government has called in Wik leader Bruce Martin to lead mediation talks as residents return to the town.

Former Aurukun Shire Council CEO Gary Kleidon is coordinating the government's response to the unrest.

The government says it has strategies to curb so-called "sly grogging" in the dry community.

An alcohol management plan is in place, police conduct regular patrols for alcohol and the community has been encouraged to report 'sly grogging', the government said.

© AAP 2020

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