28 Oct 2010

PNG gun violence seen as sign of growing disparity

1:37 pm on 28 October 2010

A spokesperson for Papua New Guinea's Coalition Against Gun Violence says the proliferation of guns in the community is symptomatic of a growing social disparity.

There are calls for action amid fears the presence of guns could undermine development projects.

A former senior police officer, John Toguata, was part of the gun control committee, which toured the country several years ago garnering people's views on what to do about guns, but so far the government hasn't taken action.

Mr Toguata says police need more capacity and a gun surrender programme is required but part of the problem is the lack of social services and jobs.

"There are a few that are happening like the mines and all that but it's not adddressing the problem fully and therefore a lot more people that come out of schools or even university they're just hanging loose and they are just trying to find jobs where ever they can. People don't have the basic things, like they don't have the basic services in the rural areas where the majority of them are."

John Toguata

The internal security minister, Sani Rambi, is promising action on the gun issue in the next few months.