3 Mar 2005

PNG to launch new campaign to deal with guns

11:49 am on 3 March 2005

A former commander of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force says guns have been one of the biggest problems the country has faced since independence.

Major-General Jerry Singirok's comments come as a campaign is launched to gauge the public's view on how to deal with guns.

Major-General Singirok says he believes the campaign is a step in the right direction.

He says the issue is the biggest challenge to PNG's peace and prosperity.

"This is the most difficult task since independence that a government has decided to take on. This is the first time in 30 years that at least a government has achknowledged the intensity of the problem. At least we have to address this issue. They is no way that we can put guns under control, but I believe that there will be some degree of sucess, as long as we've got political support and as long as we have got society behind us."

Major-General Singirok says the campaign information will be submitted to a Goroka gun summit in June.