20 Mar 2009

PNG officer says strong political will needed to address security issues

2:57 pm on 20 March 2009

A senior serving officer in the Papua New Guinea defence force says there needs to be a strong political will to address the country's security issues.

Commander Tau Charlie Ila is attending a seven-week training course at a military academy in Britain; a scholarship funded by the UK.

Commander Ila described training as a "vital aspect" in "enhancing the force's ability to provide security".

But he told Radio NZ International that such schemes would "not alone address the overall needs for security in PNG".

Commander Ila said PNG also needed the help of its international partners.

Analysts believe Papua New Guinea's defence force has long been under-funded and ill-equipped.