PNG Security Forces Searching Vehicles For Smuggled Weapons

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Candidates allegedly to blame for problems during elections

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, July 5, 2012) – In Papua New Guinea, soldiers are closely monitoring vehicles with no number plates believed to be moving arms and ammunition in Wabag town and Enga province.

This was confirmed last weekend as security was tightened in the provincial capital where all ballot boxes were stored in containers at police headquarters.

Enga province is to begin counting this week after two deferrals from last week.

Major Eddie Etato warned that his men were ready to deal with individuals or candidates who planned to disrupt the elections in the province.

Etato said a special unit was also flown by helicopter to the remote Kandep area last week to monitor possible elections-related violence there and provide security for polling officials.

He said they were already dealing with situations in Porgera, Laiagam, Kompiam and Wabag central.

Some soldiers are stationed at the provincial headquarters where ballots are kept.

Etato said problems they faced were not created by members of the public but by the candidates themselves. He said some went to the extreme of buying votes and forcing their clansmen and families to vote for them.

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