Police Report PNG Election Security Operations Proceeding

admin's picture

Operation divided between Highlands and remaining areas

By Todagia Kelola

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 19, 2012) – Security Operations throughout Papua New Guinea (PNG) for the 2012 National Election are on target and security forces are confident that their objective, which is primarily to secure a free, fair and safe 2012 National General Elections will definitely be achieved.

Chief of the entire 2012 Natel Operations, acting Deputy Police Commissioner Simon Kauba made this comment yesterday after receiving briefs from all commanders on the ground in all provinces, but especially the Highlands region, which is considered high risk in terms of election related violence, arms build-up, threats, intimidation and bribery.

In an interview with the Post-Courier Mr. Kauba said "Preparations for the conduct of the 2012 elections has gone very well and that logistics acquired have been generally good throughout the country.

"As you are aware we have divided the security operational areas into two stages; the rest of PNG, and the Highlands, which is considered high risk in terms of election related violence, arms build-up, threats, intimidation and bribery.

"As for the Highlands our response units who were deployed earlier have done a tremendous job in that areas where our intelligence have identified to be trouble spots have been stabilized through awareness raids and even some candidates have been arrested and charged, now people are feeling very confident in our mere presence and with the extra deployment it has really boosted the spirits and morale of the people" he said

He also expressed satisfaction on their newly installed communication systems which is an added bonus to their operations

"I am confident the RPNGC and its sister security forces will deliver the elections safely to the people of Papua New Guinea because we now have a robust and effective communication network."

[PIR editor’s note: Community leaders in Jiwaka province have criticized local voting due to a lack of security and the possibility of violence breaking out, calling on the electoral commission to allow votes to be counted in a Mt. Hagen police barracks. Elsewhere, in the Southern Highlands, supporters of current prime minister Peter O'Neill and local rival Eke Lama clashed. The fight allegedly started as O'Neill supporters claimed villagers would not receive education or other services if they voted for Lama. Lama claims this is not the first time O'Neill supporters have incited violence against his supporters.]

He also revealed that more than 9,000 personnel have been deployed throughout the country, which includes Defence, Correctional Services officers, reserves, special constables and new recruits from the Bomana Police College.

"Right now whilst we are talking troops have already arrived in their designated areas of operation "

There will be one day polling for the highlands region whilst for the rest of PNG polling has been spread over 14 days commencing June 23. Writs are scheduled to be returned on July 27.

Counting will be conducted at declared counting centres at provincial headquarters. Provincial Police Commanders are expected to take full responsibility of security at the centers the PNG Electoral Commissioner nominates.

Mr. Kauba is confident that there will be less trouble because of their preparedness but warned that security forces will use force if the need arises.

He also appealed to Candidates and voters to assist the security forces to ensure a fair free and safe election.

"We are committed to deliver a free, fair and safe 2012 National General Election. But we cannot achieve this our own. We will need the cooperation and assistance of everyone including the voting public, candidates and their supporters, as well as the staff of the PNG Electoral Commission.

Rate this article: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Add new comment