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By Peter Miva

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National,) - Waria Valley youths in Garaina, Morobe province of Papua New Guinea surrendered 32 home-made guns, uprooted several plants of marijuana, returned a stolen genset and solar panel to provincial authorities and police at the Garaina station yesterday.

The youths from Sopa, Kapiso, Garaso and other areas near the station decided on the initiative in an attempt to bring back the delivery of goods and services.

The event was witnessed by a huge crowd of villagers, teachers, students, and community leaders.

The youths surrender the items to Morobe provincial deputy administrator Patilias Gamato and James Noah, a staff officer who represented the provincial police commander Giossi Labi.

The surrender was made possible through a four-week community policing initiative currently carried out in the area by CID officer John Kopa and two other officers in the area to rid the area of crime.

Mr Gamato praised the youths and told the community that the surrender was a turning point for Garaina station, which had abruptly halted basic goods and services from entering the area since the burning down of the Waria LLG council chamber in 2000.

Mr Gamato said that the Waria valley had potential in economic activities, mainly in agricultural activities, however crime, high freight charges and bad road conditions were main deterrents.

He urged the people to believe in themselves and not to solve issues through crime.

Mr Noah assured the people that policemen will be sent to take up permanent posting at the station by the end of this month.

Policemen will continue their efforts in the council area to urge more youths to surrender their weapons through the community policing strategy.

They will be going into the Bubu area to work with communities to urge youths to surrender their arms.

February 10, 2004

The National:


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