Internal Security Strengthens through stronger interoperability between Defence Force and RPNGC

Saturday 27 January 2024

(left-right): Defence Secretary Mr John Akipe, Acting Chief of Defence Force, Commodore Philip Polewara, Defence Minister, Hon. Dr Billy Joseph, Police Minister, Hon. Peter Tsiamalili Jnr., and Commissioner of Police, Mr David Manning.

A high-level round table meeting was held between the PNG Defence Force and the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary yesterday, focusing on pressing concerns of domestic terrorism and its impact on law and order in the country.

Present in the meeting were Minister for Defence, Hon. Billy Joseph, Police Minister, Hon. Tsiamalili Jnr, Defence Secretary Mr John Akipe, Acting Chief of Defence Force Commodore Philip Polewara, and Police Commissioner Mr David Manning

Commissioner Manning acknowledged the limitations of the current approach and emphasized the need to review the Rules of Engagement and enhance interoperability with the Defence Force.

As part of this review, enhancing use of force options (including the use of lethal force) for all deployed security forces will be considered, and a specialized unit will be established to ensure the protection of such actions.

Furthermore, Commissioner Manning and Commodore Polewara have agreed to second three senior military officials to key operational leadership positions in Hela, Enga, and SHP, respectively.

Minister Tsiamalili said additionally, swift action will be taken to relocate the Joint Task Force Headquarters from Hagen to Mendi Town.

Meanwhile, discussions are underway with the National Airports Corporation (NAC) to reopen Mendi Airport in a phased manner, further facilitating the region’s accessibility and development.

He added, the Ministry of Defence and the Police Department remain committed to ensuring the safety and security of the nation and its citizens.

“This comprehensive approach to addressing the law-and-order issue and tribal fights marks a significant milestone in our collective efforts to safeguard peace and stability,” Minster Tsiamalili added.

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