PNG DEFENSE FORCE CHIEF UR STICKS TO DIPLOMACY

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (March 14, 2002 – Post-Courier)---The PNG Defense Force, in line with its strategy of diplomacy and negotiation, continued to appeal for mutinous soldiers at Moem Barracks in Wewak to lay down their arms and allow proper military authority to be established.

Defense Chief of Staff Colonel Tom Ur said, "I am appealing to the mutinous soldiers of the 2RPIR Moem Barracks in Wewak, in the East Sepik Province, to lay down their arms.

"I am calling on law abiding soldiers to account for all the weapons they illegally removed from the unit armory; and return weapons and ammunitions back to the armory; and also to allow proper military authority to be restored back in the unit immediately to assist in command and control; and further more to process their demand."

Reiterating PNGDF Commander Brigadier General Peter Ilau’s call on Monday, Colonel Ur said actions taken by the soldiers to break the armory and ammunition depot and arming themselves are "completely unlawful, illegal and punishable with severe consequences".

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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