PNG Police, Defense Force Call-Out In Hela Province To Scale Back

300 person security contingent to be replaced by small 'readily deployable force'

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 23, 2017) – The joint police-defence force contingent engaged in the call-out operation in Hela will be reduced by next Tuesday, according to Assistant Commissioner Operation David Manning.

Manning said 300 officers and soldiers had arrived in Hela on Jan 9 for the Government-sanctioned operation. They will be replaced by a small “readily deployable force”.

“The second phase we will see a more intelligence-led operation with a smaller but readily deployable force to conduct raids and searches and be able to respond very quickly to areas when information and intelligence is received about the stockpile of firearms,” he said.

Manning said so far 84 guns had been surrendered including six high-powered ones.

“A military-issued firearm missing from the Taurama army barracks armoury in Port Moresby some years ago was also recovered,” he said.

Manning said they had been conducting awareness on the gun moratorium.

“So far we have covered the entire province. And while doing awareness, we have collected intelligence on the stockpile of firearms still hidden,” he said.

“On Feb 28 (end of moratorium), we will be targeting those people reluctant to surrender those firearms.”

Manning said they were mindful of the cost involved in the operation.

“But we want to remind the people that we have been proactive very much in partnership with the community,” he said.

Manning said the operation would end on March 18.

The National
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