5 Jun 2012

Over 1,000 PNG soldiers sent to Highlands region

4:39 am on 5 June 2012

More than 1000 Papua New Guinea Defence Force soldiers have so far been deployed to the Highlands region at the weekend.

They have been sent to help police maintain law and order during the election starting in less than 3 weeks.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that a convoy of over 30 military vehicles has been welcomed into the Highlands by residents who stood along the Highlands Highway and waved the soldiers on.

In total more than 2000 security personnel will eventually be deployed to the Highlands.

The Assistant Police Commissioner for the Highlands, Teddy Tei, says the focus will be on hot spots and firearms.

The caretaker Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, says the deployment is the government's response to ensuring free, fair and safe elections are conducted in the Highlands.