By HELEN TARAWA
SECURITY forces will gradually lift restrictions imposed during the Apec Leaders’ Week on areas of Port Moresby, and start “collapsing” their operation from Sunday, says Police Commissioner Gari Baki.
He warned that the Apec Safety and Security Act was still in force and that it would terminate itself at midnight on Friday next week.
“On Friday Nov 30, as soon as the clock strikes one minute past midnight, everything applicable under the Apec Safety and Security Act would be null and void,” Baki said.
“It cannot be moved forward because it’s an Act of Parliament. It will have to remain until it terminates itself.”
Baki is the commander of the Joint Security Task Force charged with all the security operations during Apec which ended with the Leaders’ Summit on Sunday.
Delegations from the 21 economies began leaving Port Moresby after the Leaders’ Summit on Sunday.
Parliament in April had passed an amendment to the APEC Security Act as a “sunset clause” to be effective from Nov 9. The “sunset” clause of the Apec Safety and Security Act will be terminated by Dec 1.
Baki told The National that the legislation had “allowed us to perform our duty in providing safety and security operations of the Apec meeting, and we have delivered that”.
“It also applies to the support given by our foreign security personnel,” Baki said.
He said the security forces would “start collapsing their operations on Sunday”.
“Once that’s completed, they will move out of the restricted areas,” he said. They have started with the restricted maritime zones.
“You will that the maritime restricted zones have been pulled away to allow our people to access their normal fishing grounds,” he said.
“We try as much as possible not to emphasize on the use of the Apec Safety and Security Act until it terminates itself on Dec 1.”
A special legislation framework was put in place by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General last year with agencies including the State Solicitor allowing neighboring countries to deploy assets and personnel for the APEC leaders’ summit.
Australia, New Zealand and the United States provided security cover on land, air and sea throughout last week.
Three cruise liners Pacific Explorer, Sea Princess and Pacific Jewel were used for accommodation and meetings.
By HELEN TARAWA