2 Jul 2002

Reports of arms buildup in PNG Southern Highlands province

10:30 am on 2 July 2002

The Electoral officer for Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands province says the arrival of 2-hundred extra police in the region over the weekend is not enough.

Alwin Jimmy says he was promised 4-hundred extra police.

Mr Jimmy says the total number of police will be 6-hundred providing security for over 8-hundred polling booths in the troubled province.

He says the provincial capital Mendi is tense because of threats of possible tribal clashes and reports of weapons being smuggled into the town.


It's not safe walking around here, it's very, very dangerous. People are talking about there will be tribal clashes and all that. People are saying that in Southern Highlands, arms are building up but we are trying out very best to do out job. We have come out publically and we are telling them that if there are any disturbances at a polling place, those polling places will be closed.

DUR:...19 secs

Alwin Jimmy says police and the defence force have promised one helicopter to help transport the ballot papers to polling booths.

He says this is because a local helicopter company refused to transport ballot papers because of threats of violence against it.