The National, Friday 27th January 2012
By JEFFREY ELAPA
DEPUTY Prime Minister Belden Namah has described the attempt by Col Yaura Sasa and his men to take over the Defence Force command as tantamount to mutiny.
As at 5pm yesterday, normalcy was restored after Sasa’s men were disbanded when chief of staff Col Tom Ur intervened and took control of the situation.
Sasa had placed the commander of the PNGDF under house arrest, including several other senior military officers.
Namah said: “There is no reason at all for this kind of action. I see that desperate and power-hungry politicians have been using the soldiers to get into power without considering the lives of the soldiers and the lives of their wives and children as their actions are mutinous – the penalty for mutiny is life imprisonment or death penalty.
“I was also involved in a similar case but my actions were justified as foreign mercenaries were to kill Papua New Guineans. But I warn those soldiers to be mindful of their future and that of their children because you’ll be sorry.”
He said Sasa was a retrenched officer in the Defence Force and his actions were illegal.
He said if his service was required and was to be recalled to the force, then there were processes in place to follow.
He said in Sasa’s case, the processes were not followed.
Namah said Sasa had committed sedition – a very serious crime.
He said all government institutions were secured, including the government printing office and Government House.
He also called on the security forces to leave politics to politicians – and not be involved in politics.
“I also call on the Somare regime not to use policemen and soldiers to get into power. There is a forum to do that and that is the parliament.
“As soon as we finish with this issue, we’ll deal with Somare and his group with the full brunt of the law,” Namah said.