27 May 2012

Senior PNG police commander calls for politicians to reconcile for sake of country

4:57 pm on 27 May 2012

A senior police commander in the Papua New Guinea capital, Port Moresby, has appealed to the Somare and O'Neill factions to bury their differences and reconcile for the sake of the country.

Assistant Commissioner Francis Tokura says two police factions came close to shooting at each other on Friday outside Parliament but for a timely intervention by senior officers.

Don Wiseman has more:

"On Friday some armed police had blockaded Parliament to stop MPs from holding a special sitting. Mr Tokura also revealed that several police were assaulted at the Supreme Court on Thursday when the Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah led a squad of police and soldiers to try and arrest the Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia. He appealed to police personnel not to take sides in the political feud and he called on all National Capital District staff to return to work and concentrate on the election operations. Mr Tokura says the politicians embroiled in the power struggle should not use money and resources to entice police personnel or use them to question, defy and revolt against the police hierarchy. He says the long standing tussle over the Prime Minister's job, untimely court rulings and decisions of politicians to use police to serve their own purposes have caused divisions within the Constabulary."