AUSTRALIA WARNS TRAVELERS TO AVOID PNG HIGHLANDS

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 1) - Australia is
warning its citizens to avoid traveling to Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands
during a re-run of last year's elections.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has updated its travel advice
for PNG, warning there is the possibility of increased tension and violence
during, or shortly after, the election period.

Fresh elections are being held in six seats where results were
abandoned during last year's general election due to violence and cheating.

The department says while a number of weapons have been
surrendered in the lead up to the elections, there are still many at large in
the community.

It says non-essential travel to the province should be deferred
during and shortly after the election period.

The travel advice says if Australians must go to the province,
then large gatherings and travel at night should be avoided.

May 1, 2003

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

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