31 Jan 2008

Former BRA fighters assume police role in PNG town of Arawa

3:03 pm on 31 January 2008

Ex-combatants of the Bougainvillean Revolutionary Army have been engaged by the local community to provide policing services in Arawa in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville.

The town has been without an active police presence since last week when a group of locals took a police car at gun point and demanded damages for a fatal accident it had been involved in.

The President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Joseph Kabui, says the ex-combatants will ensure law and order is maintained.

"In the meantime while police are not doing their work the local community has made a decision to engage the former combatants to do normal patrols and keep everything under control in Arawa so nobody capitalises on the vacuum that seems to be there with the police not being there performing their responsibilities."

Mr Kabui says he expects normal police services to be restored within the next month.