30 Jan 2012

PNG troops granted amnesty over mutiny

9:23 pm on 30 January 2012

Troops involved in last week's failed rebellion in Papua New Guinea have surrendered their weapons in exchange for amnesty.

Dozens of guns were loaded on to a truck at the Taurama Barracks on the outskirts of Port Moresby and driven away.

Earlier, defence minister Belden Namah addressed the soldiers at the barracks - among them those who took part in the mutiny - and said those who took part would be granted amnesties.

He made it clear, however, that if there was a repeat of the incident, they will be charged with mutiny.

The troops had been attempting to instal an army commander sympathetic to Sir Michael Somare, who maintains he is the legitimate prime minister of Papua New Guinea.

The ABC quotes Mr Namah as saying: "There is only one government and that is the one led by Peter O'Neill".

The man who led the failed attempt, the former colonel Yaura Sasa, has been charged with inciting mutiny.