2 Jul 2003

PNG foreign Minister says Solomons intervention force will have to monitor Bougainville border

4:58 pm on 2 July 2003

The Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu says the proposed Australian led intervention force for Solomon Islands will need to monitor the border with Bougainville.

Former rebels from Bougainville have frequently moved across the border into Western Province, and been involved in violent incidents there.

It is also believed that some of the illegal guns in the Solomons have come across the border from Bougainville.

Sir Rabbie says he has told the region's Foreign Ministers that PNG lacks the resources to police the border.

"we need to have surveillance and monitoring boosted in that area which we proposed should be done as part of this exercise, to make sure that people are monitored and no guns are being smuggled across the strait."

Sir Rabbie Namaliu.

He has said PNG is prepared to provide up to 80 police and army personnel to the intervention force.