18 Feb 2005

PNG politician says defence force compromised after Australian officers brought in

4:24 pm on 18 February 2005

Papua New Guinea's Morobe governor, Luther Wenge, has claimed in parliament that the defence force has been compromised and is in no position to defend the country.

Mr Wenge says the Australian Government has stripped defence force soldiers bare.

The Post Courier says the use of Australian army officers in key positions in the force meant the force's secrets and fighting tactics had been compromised.

Mr Wenge also questioned whether the Government was aware that Australian army officials had gone as far as advising the defence force to get rid of certain weapons in their armoury.

He asked that the agreement the Minister of defence signed with his Australian counterpart last October be tabled in Parliament so MPs could see its contents.