PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Dec. 16) – The first contingent of Australian Federal Police officers arrived in Port Moresby yesterday for training, following agreement on the enhanced cooperation package between Australia and Papua New Guinean ministers at the Ministerial Forum in Adelaide last week.

Twelve officers from the Australian Federal Police will undertake an intensive one-week in-country training course at the Bomana Police Academy. The course will include language training, cultural awareness, RPNGC operational regulations and procedures.

The Australian government agreed to provide assistance worth more than K2 billion over a five- year period for capacity building programs within the police force.

Police Minister Bire Kimisopa said the police officers from the Australian Federal Police, who are the first group from the expected 230 police officers, would be deployed to Bougainville along with 30 police officers from within the PNG police.

He said the PNG policemen were all Bougainvilleans who would work side by side with the Australians to assist in the situation on Bougainville.

He said: “The Australian assistance package developed jointly with PNG has been a very generous one.”

Mr Kimisopa said the Australian Police would assist in capacity building, re-equipping the force so that the police effectively carry out their operations in the country.

He said the Australians would be based in Port Moresby, Lae, Mount Hagen, Highlands Highway, and eventually Enga and Mendi.

He said they would be engaged in specialized areas such as drug and arm smuggling, human smuggling, forensic, training and human smuggling.

“The PNG Police will be able to recruit 400 officers under the package,” he said.

He said the assistance would not solve all the problems but help enhance the capacity of the police.

Mr Kimisopa said the assistance would also see the improvement in infrastructure, vehicles, communication system and other administration systems.

He said the Police Department has embarked on an administrative review funded by the government at a cost of K500,000 that would run for six months.

He said this would look at the problems faced by the police such as housing, salaries, backlog of leave fares and how they could effectively manage provincial police stations.

December 16, 2003

The National:



Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment