14 Jun 2012

Concerns over firearms buildup in PNG's Highlands ahead of election

10:52 am on 14 June 2012

Police in Papua New Guinea are warning that illegal firearms remain a major concern and could be the biggest threat to this month's general election.

Election security forces in the Highlands this week raided the home of a candidate and confiscated a cache of illegal weapons.

The candidate remains in custody in Mt Hagen and has been refused bail.

The Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga has declared the Highlands as a high-risk area during the election.

The chairman of the Gun Control Committee, Major-General Jerry Singirok, says he's very concerned about the arms build-up.

"And the potential for the elections to be disrupted, mainly in Enga province, in the Southern Highlands, in Hela province, some parts of Western Highlands, mainly in Tambul Nebilyer, up in the Jiwaka; I'm also concerned about pockets of resistance and the buildup in Chimbu province and in the Eastern Highlands."

General Jerry Singirok says otherwise, PNG's coastal provinces are expected to comply well with the laws during elections.