7 Nov 2005

Former PNG defence commander Singirok seeks political office

4:21 pm on 7 November 2005

The Papua New Guinea military commander who challenged the government over its plan to use mercenaries in the Bougainville conflict is planning to enter politics.

Major General Jerry Singirok was in command of the PNG Defence Force in 1997 when the Sir Julius Chan government tried to use the Sandline mercenary group in Bougainville.

The army revolted against the move, forcing the government to expel the mercenaries, but Major General Singirok was later charged with sedition.

He was acquitted of those charges last year and has since launched a number of business enterprises, including a taxi company in Port Moresby.

He says he one area he will be looking at is the poor state of the country's security services.

"And I don't think that the government has invested enough of its resources, not only finance, but technical expertise, and of course within partnership with the people, both within and externally, try to see if we could tighten up our security. I think that is one big area I will be looking at, yes."