7 Nov 2006

Bougainville police maintain curfew on Buka after high-profile arrest

8:04 pm on 7 November 2006

Police in Papua New Guinea's autonomous province of Bougainville say they're loath to break the peace in attempts to make various armed forces disarm.

A new armed group, calling itself the Bougainville Freedom Fighters, has called on the government to immediately disarm the followers of money-scam operator Noah Musingku, as well as the Me'ekamui militants.

Acting Police Commissioner Paul Kamuai says police want to avoid armed confrontation in pursuing disarmament, but the BFF is threatening to take the law into its own hands.

"It sounds very illegal, it's not right. But I think the message is that some people have very much had enough of what's happening. They really want to see peace on Bougainville, they really want to see the firearms being destroyed: no more firearms on Bougainville."

Police in Buka have a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the town after apprehending a Me'ekamui leader, Chris Uma, on Saturday, on weapons offences.

Last week the ABG announced it would place a container near the southern town of Tonu to allow supporters of Noah Musingku and the Me'ekamui to surrender their arms.