The National – Monday, July 4th 2011
By JUNIOR UKAHA
INTERNAL Security Minister and Kikori MP Mark Maipakai is worried about the build-up of firearms leading into next year’s elections.
He said this last Friday during a passing-out ceremony 98 officers from the Royal Papua New Guinea Police Band at the Bomana Police College.
Maipakai said since the report and recommendation of the Guns Control Committee came out six years ago, “little or nothing has been done to rectify the situation”.
“I am concerned about the use of firearms, both legal and illegal, in the commissioning of crimes, conflict situations and especially in next year’s national elections,” he said.
Maipakai said the use of guns was one of the single biggest problems facing the country.
He said guns which fell into the hands of criminals and other unscrupulous people were used to kill people.
He said the use of illegal firearms to commit crimes “is a hindrance to development and is destroying businesses”.
“Guns will drive away investment and ruin our society,” he said.
He said guns were used in over 80% of crimes committed in the country.
Maipakai commended Police Commissioner Tony Wagambie and his deputies for the pre-election operations being conducted nationwide.
“It will flush out some of these illegal firearms but not all of it,” he said.
Police Commissioner Operations Fred Yakasa said police operations before and during the election would require K188 million to be successful.
Yakasa said around 20% of that money would be used in pre-election operations.