20 Mar 2003

Bougainville Resistance Force threatens final stage of gun disposal programme

10:12 am on 20 March 2003

The Bougainville Resistance Force has threatened to pull out of the gun disposal programme on the island unless the Papua New Guinea Government pays them two point 15 million US dollars for services.

The Post Courier reports that the Resistance members visited Defence Force headquarters in Port Moresby to raise the issue, and an officer helped them draft a letter to the Treasury.

PNG's Defence Force Chief of Staff, Colonel Tom Ur, says the matter is now before the Finance and Treasury Departments.

A spokesman for the BRF says the Government had promised the payments and not all members were compensated from the 340 thousand US dollars paid last year.

The Resistance members have threatened to stop stage three - the destruction of the weapons - from going ahead, if the money is not paid.