6 Dec 2002

Claims soldiers are starving on Bougainville

4:48 pm on 6 December 2002

Papua New Guina Defence Force soldiers on Bougainville are going hungry because there is no money to buy food.

The soldiers have also claimed that the Defence Force hierarchy in Port Moresby has ignored them for a long time.

The Contingent Commander Cosmas Jimberi says about 24 soldiers were facing starvation.

Major Jimberi says they had not received funds since April and they could no longer buy food from stores on the island as they already owed them money.

He says the government promised the soldiers separate funding to conduct operations in Buka but to date there had been nothing.

Major Jimberi says they have been ignored even though military chiefs say soldiers on Bougainville are a top priority.

Major Jimberi says the last decent meal the soldiers had was on October the 12th and he says all rations and supplies have ceased since then.