27 Oct 2010

TI PNG urges government action over illegal guns

3:40 pm on 27 October 2010

Transparency International in Papua New Guinea says the government has to do something about the prevalence of illegal firearms and the threat they pose to the country's security.

A range of commentators from MPs to NGOs and the police say the country's gun problem is worsening and risks undermining the huge resource developments that are now underway.

Several years ago a gun committee, headed by former defence chief, Major General Jerry Singirok, toured the country and came up with 161 recommmendations for containing the gun problem.

The government has ignored the report but TI's spokesperson, Peter Aitsi, says it must act.

"Given the increased activity within the resource sector and the current fighting taking place between the landowning groups related to the distribution of benefits from these resource developments and also in preparation for the 2012 general elections, where in the past we have seen the use of firearms to intimidate voters, this is why TI wants to raise the issue now."