PNG’s warlords ‘dangerous’ and ‘outgun police’, warns Tomuriesa

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PNG's Deputy Opposition Leader Tomuriesa
PNG's Deputy Opposition Leader Tomuriesa . . . "Armed bandits . . . pose a real threat to national security and freedom and must be destroyed." Image: PNG govt

The National in Port Moresby

Warlords and armed bandits pose a threat to Papua New Guinea’s national security and must be destroyed, says Deputy Opposition Leader Douglas Tomuriesa.

“Warlords and armed bandits are very dangerous and pose a real threat to national security and freedom and must be destroyed,” he said.

“Police and the military are simply outgunned and outnumbered, and cannot effectively deal with the armed bandits.”

He supported the call by former prime minister Peter O’Neill for the safe release of the hostages held by armed bandits in the Highlands region.

Three of the seven hostages held near the Mt Bosavi area at the border of the Southern Highlands and Hela provinces have been released by the bandits.

One of the captives is an Australian-based New Zealand professor and two Papua New Guinea women are among those still being held by the gunmen.

Tomuriesa said that the proliferation of warlords in the Highlands provinces armed with machine guns stolen from the PNG Defence Force armoury had been reported many times in the media.

But the James Marape-led coalition government had failed to address it seriously.

He added that the government should consider inviting the Australian and New Zealand special forces such as their SAS (Special Air Service) which possessed superior weapons and tactics to assist PNG deal with these “dangerous criminals and eliminate these so-called warlords once and for all”.

He also expressed concern over the kidnapping of innocent and harmless people, and joined the many Christians praying for the hostages.

Republished with permission.

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