Police need funds to provide security during referendum polls


Bougainville police needs funds to be able to provide security during the referendum, Bougainville Referendum Commission officer Mauricio Claudio says.
“The BRC right now is involving the Bougainville police service (but there is) inadequate funding to provide security for the referendum,” Claudio said.
“This is an issue that we are taking to the attention of both governments (Autonomous Bougainville Government and PNG Government).
“Funding is required for the BRC to do a complete check on the referendum process.”
Claudio said writs would be issued on August 16 and voting would begin on October 12.
Bougainville police commander Francis Tokura earlier said Bougainville was still “volatile” with firearms remaining in the possession of ex-combatants and thugs.
“The law and order situation here is fluid for us. Any incident can instigate the emergence of firearms to be used in public,” he said.
“I’m calling on Bougainville leaders to remove firearms in their constituents as we prepare for referendum.” Tokura said the surrendering of guns exercise was unreliable.
“Even constituents that claimed to be ready for referendum and weapons-free are still unstable.”
“There are still weapons in those constituents.”