NGO calls on Govt to probe weapons cargo

National, Normal


A SIMBU-based anti-gun organisation has called on the Government to immediately investigate and determine how four high-powered assault rifles and a semi-automatic pistol were allowed to be transported from the Philippines to Papua New Guinea.
“High powered guns bring so much destruction to our people and are the biggest threat to peace, law and order in PNG, and how these deadly weapons were allowed into PNG is a question that has to be immediately answered by all involved,” Joe Bik said.
Mr Bik, founding director of Voice of Yongos, said by phone from Kundiawa that “the gun issue is vital national issue that requires the Government to act and address or more lives will be lost through guns”.
Voice of Yongos is a non-governmental organisation that sternly advocates for a gun-free society.
Mr Bik’s concern was how Air Niugini staff and law enforcement officers in the Philippines, knowing that the weapons were for military use only, were allowed to be transported by a civilian into PNG.
“We have no place for guns in PNG as guns have brought a lot of misery upon many innocent people.
“Bank robberies, murders, rapes, tribal fighting, armed hold ups, kidnappings, civil war and civil unrest have been the result of high powered guns ending up in the wrong hands,” he said. 
He said PNG was a signatory to the Geneva Declaration on armed violence and development, but to date Papua New Guinea had failed to act on its obligation to “deal with armed violence”.
“This was evident in the delay in tabling the gun committees report in Parliament.