17 Feb 2003

Warning of war unless security is increased in PNG's Southern Highlands

4:36 pm on 17 February 2003

A community leader in the Papua New Guinea province of Southern Highlands is warning there will be a war during the supplementary elections in May unless security in the region is beefed up.

Paul Poto, who has unsuccessfully contested the Kagua/Erave seat since 1982, says guns are being smuggled into the area and tension is high.

The supplementary elections come after the polls in the Southern Highlands six seats during the national elections last year were declared to have failed because of widespread violence and intimidation.

The Post Courier reports Mr Poto has moved his family out of the area because he fears for their safety.