20 Jan 2011

PNG PM says border operation at people's request

6:04 pm on 20 January 2011

Papua New Guinea's prime minister says the joint forces security crackdown on the border with Indonesia was launched at the request of the people of West Sepik province.

The operation, code named Sunset Merona, was launched last weekend to deal with people smuggling, gun trafficking, arms trade and resource poaching and threats on the lives of citizens.

The opposition has criticisd the exercise and accused the security forces of venting their frustrations on innocent people and business houses in Vanimo instead of flushing out the OPM training camps on the PNG side of the border with Indonesia.

But Sir Michael Somare has told the Post Courier newspaper that the operation is aimed at reinforcing and maintaining state authority at a very strategic location and to renew confidence in border systems and procedures.