PAPUA NEW GUINEA TO REDUCE DEFENSE FORCE BY 1,500

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (December 21, 2001 – Radio Australia)---The government has announced plans to reduce the Papua New Guinea Defense Force by 1,500 personnel effective March 1, 2002.

The goal of the move is to create a more youthful, professional and affordable military structure of 2,000 soldiers.

The military suffered a 45 percent cut to its annual budget allocation in the 2002 national budget, leaving the force with about (US) $14 million dollars to fund its operations.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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