2 Oct 2002

Papua New Guinea minister wants funding for guns buy-back scheme

10:40 am on 2 October 2002

A government minister in Papua New Guinea is to push for national funding for a guns buy-back scheme in the Southern Highlands.

Lands minister, Robert Kopaol, says he's been turned down once already by the minister of finance but he's putting in the request again to the national executive council.

He says there would be a peace awareness campaign, an identification of the people and villages with guns and then implementation of the buy-back scheme.

Mr Kopaol says it's frustrating that he has the answer to the problem and has put a provincial committee in place but there's no funding.

"The whole community is right behind my initiative to bring peace and peace is something that everybody will make. If they want peace they have to make it themselves. They can't buy it."

Mr Kopaol says he's targetting several areas known for their lawlessness and intense tribal warfare, including Mendi, Tari and Kagua as well as his Nipa Kutubu electorate.