6 May 2003

Bougainville highlights law and order concerns when PMG goes

4:26 pm on 6 May 2003

On Papua New Guinea's Bougainville island, there's a call for an immediate review of the 1994 ceasefire agreement to allow police powers to be exercised again.

The Post Courier says that local leaders want an increase in police numbers throughout Bougainville.

This comes amid concerns about law and order on Bougainville after the departure of the Peace Monitoring group at the end of next month.

Those concerns have been heightened by the shooting of a Buka man last week.

The local leaders are also demanding that the Bougainville Revolutionary Army and the Bougainville Resistance Force come up with a strategic plan to deal with criminals on the island.

They say that if the two ex combatant groups are unsuccessful then the communities should be given the right to decide what to do next.

The leaders say if the law and order situation continues to decline then the government must deploy a peace keeping force on the island.

They have also renewed calls for the reconciliation of the hardline rebel and leader of the Mekamui faction, Francis Ona, and the head of the Bougainville People's Congress, Joseph Kabui.