PNG PLANS $2 MILLION SECURITY FOR JUNE ELECTIONS

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By Sheila Lasibori

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, April 24) - The Papua New Guinea Defence Force is all set to engage about 400 members and eight PNGDF combined elements for the June national election.

And the allocated funding to the PNGDF in the vicinity of PGK5 million to PGK6 million [US$1.7 million to US$2.1 million] is enough for the PNGDF to engage its members, mostly the soldiers from the infantries, and the engineers.

PNGDF commander Commodore Peter Ilau told The National on Sunday the PNGDF was all set as it maintained consultations with the police force, the Electoral Commission and the National Intelligence Organisation.

"We will operate in support of police by law," Mr. Ilau said, adding that the PNGDF will engage three fixed air wing aircraft; three patrol boats and two helicopters.

He said the patrol boats would be stationed in parts of Manus and New Ireland provinces, East and West New Britain and Milne Bay provinces, including the Fly River in Western province when the need arises in the area.

Ilau said so far, the Defence Force was satisfied with its consultations and discussions with relevant government departments and agencies, including the police and was set for the security operations during the June national election.

He said in line with concerns by police and other agencies including the Electoral Commission, the focus would be in the Highlands region and would extend to the Momase region as well.

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