By MIRIAM ZARRIGA
POLICE Minister William Gogl Onglo says the country is fighting three huge battles: the fast – multiplying Covid-19 pandemic, the spiralling economy and escalating law and order issues.
“Ethnic clashes in the National Capital District, the Alotau issue and tribal fighting in Kainantu are all matters that need urgent intervention,” he said.
In a phone interview with The National, Onglo said the fear and anxiety within the community should be addressed.
“The reality is that we now have three huge battles to fight,” Onglo said.
“We have the pandemic, the economy and the escalating law and order issues.
“Law and order is everyone’s business and any under-lying causes into the ethnic clashes need to be identified and resolved by the leaders of the communities.
“The law has to work due to the breakdown in law and order around the country.
“We are commencing preparations for the 2022 General Election and we need to resolve the disputes and ethnic clashes among the people and bring peace and unity,” he said.
Onglo, in support of Police Commissioner David Manning, said that in NCD the leaders of Goilala and Hela should end the ethnic clashes in the capital.
Onglo admitted that the police force had only 6,531 uniformed officers and with limited resources, the constabulary could not cover the entire crime spots.
“The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary has capacity and resources issues and not leadership issues,” he said.
“Our Government is aware of it and is taking every possible step to address it.
“My message to our citizens across the country is to respect our laws.
“Law and order is everyone’s business and we all need to understand that we are human beings, not animals so we must use our commonsense and do the right things.
Onglo said PNG citizens needed to understand and practise the Covid-19 protocols and embrace the new normal.
He highlighted that with the new trend of mutation spreading around PNG borders, “the health system could not cope with the spread and before it landed on our shores, we have to look at measures that will effectively control the spread”.
By MIRIAM ZARRIGA