24 Nov 2003

Convcern about more crime in PNG's Bougainville province

5:06 pm on 24 November 2003

A journalist in Buka on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville says a spate of criminal activity recently has raised community worries about law and order.

Gorethy Kenneth, who's just reopened a Buka bureau for the Post-Courier newspaper, says the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl early this month, and an armed holdup in the last few days have upset people.

"the law and order situation here is not very good people are scared they are not living the way they used to a couple of months ago because basically a lot of ex-combatants or opportunists we should call them still are holding onto guns and police can't do anything because I think under the cease fire they are not allowed to retaliate with guns again, so"

Gorethy Kenneth says the law and order situation in central and southern Bougainville is good, apart from continuing problems with ex-combatants and members of the Me'ekamui Defence Force.