18 Apr 2012

PNG's Police Commissioner says politicians are splitting police force

9:30 am on 18 April 2012

Papua New Guinea's Police Commissioner says politicians are splitting the force for their own ends, after policemen were attacked by colleagues in Port Moresby.

Commander Tom Kulunga made the comments yesterday after spending most of the day in crisis talks with officers in Port Moresby.

On Monday, six members of the Central Highway patrol were reportedly attacked by as many as 70 other police officers in a seemingly politically motivated attack.

Mr Kulunga says he has deep concerns about the direct involvement of politicians in dividing the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary for their own ends.

He says it is no secret that certain politicians are providing funding and hire vehicles for certain elements of the police force who are operating outside of his command and control.

The attacking officers were allegedly members of four police divisions flown from Mount Hagen to Port Moresby during the recent failed coup attempt in January.

The attack has also been condemned by the PNG Trade Union Congress.

Its general secretary, John Paska, the attack was completely unacceptable, inexcusable and intolerable.