7 Jul 2012

More PNG soldiers to help with election security

4:22 am on 7 July 2012

The Papua New Guinea Defence Force is sending two more groups of soldiers to the highlands region to help provide security during the remainder of the election period.

The originally scheduled two-week period for polling was due to be finished this weekend but the Electoral Commission has signalled that it will be extended for at least several days, with polling still to be completed in some provinces.

One of the PNGDF groups will join the joint task force team in Southern Highlands, Hela and Enga provinces.

The second group will be deployed in Eastern Highlands and Chimbu provinces which still have to start polling.

The newspaper, The National, reports the Joint task force commander Lt-Colonel Ezekia Wenzel as saying the deployments are based on assessments of threats and possible violence during the counting and declaration period.

He says that military intelligence has identified specific locations in Chimbu and Eastern Highlands with a concentration of high-powered guns and ammunitions.