By MALUM NALU
Police and soldiers will be used by the newly established National Security Joint Task Force to stifle any internal security threats.
Police Commissioner Gari Baki and PNG Defence Force Commander Gilbert Toropo confirmed this after the establishment of the task force was announced by Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari yesterday.
Baki said the task force would be headed by assistant police commissioner (crimes) Victor Isouve, who would report to him directly, and would be assisted by the PNGDF.
“We will have support staff from police, defence and the National Intelligence Organisation to come on board,” he said.
“I will be initiating documents today so that the deployment of the Defence Force with police in the task force is legal and binding in the callout provisions.
“We are not vindictive on anyone.
“The message given by the chief secretary is very clear – If you break the law, you will be dealt with by the law.”
Baki said there should not be suspicion that the task force was set up for other purposes.
“It’s important that you look at it from the security point of view particularly affecting Papua New Guinea as the constabulary has been tasked with the responsibility of planning security for the upcoming FIFA (women’s under-23 soccer tournament) in November and APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ summit) 2018.
“We’re also having the support of defence, correctional service and the Government in our preparations.
“We need to stabilise the country to allow a safe environment for any other international event that’s going to take place in Papua New Guinea.”
Toropo assurance of PNGDF support.
“My staff have already been informed of their roles in supporting the police in this task force.
“Is is our desire that people of Papua new Guinea, our citizens, the international community including investors, conduct their activities without being interrupted or interfered with.
“We will provide manpower and any other resources that are required to carry out this internal task force responsibility.
“PNG Defence Force is ably ready to support this cause in the best interest of our people.”