Sepik cops to act as ‘human shields’, says MP

Main Stories, National

The National, Wednesday 15th Febuary 2012

MAPRIK MP Gabriel Kapris has claimed in parliament that there were plans to involve 300 policemen as "human shields" during the general election in the highlands.

Kapris said during question time that policemen in East Sepik had told him that most of the officers to be involved in the election in the highlands were auxiliary and reserve personnel.

He called on the Electoral Commission, through the minister assisting the prime minister, to table an election report in parliament to assure the members and the country that a fair election would be conducted.

"I have received reports that 300 police personnel, mostly reservists and auxiliary, will be deployed in the highlands for the election."

He asked Wake Goi, the minister assisting the prime minister on constitutional matters, to ensure only trained police personnel were deployed.

Kapris said election in the highlands was volatile and to send in reservists with no proper training was like using them as "human shields".

Goi said he was not aware of that arrangement but would ask
the police minister to check.

"We are looking at a good security arrangement which will involve two weeks of polling with the first week dedicated to the coastal areas and the second week for the highlands region."

He assured the people that the election would not be delayed.