27 Nov 2003

PNG government delegates police powers to Bougainville

4:48 pm on 27 November 2003

The Papua New Guinea government has taken another major step towards giving practical effect to the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

The step was signalled with a joint statement from internal Security Minister Bire Kimisopa and Inter-Government Relations minister Sir Peter Barter.

The statement declares that the National Executive Council has formally delegated its control over the administrative and operational powers and functions of the police in Bougainville to the Bougainville Interim Provincial Executive Council.

The National newspaper says the delegation includes the raising of the rank of police commander in Bougainville to assistant commissioner.

The new arrangements will operate within the framework of the constitutional amendment and Organic Law on peace-building in Bougainville, which were passed by the National Parliament last year.

The ministers said the BPEC will exercise its new responsibilities in consultation with other Bougainville leaders through the Bougainville joint transitional consultative council.

They said the police would make appropriate arrangements at headquarters to facilitate backup, co-operation and monitoring to ensure smooth flow in the transition.