10 May 2013

PNG soldiers to restore order on Highlands Highway

7:02 am on 10 May 2013

The Papua New Guinea government is sending in soldiers to restore order on the Highlands Highway.

The prime minister, Peter O'Neill, says the National Executive Council approved the callout and immediate deployment of the Defence Force on Wednesday.

The Post Courier newspaper says soldiers will be deployed to Chimbu province where a major section of the highway at Waigar collapsed last Saturday night following heavy rain.

They will work alongside police units to discourage lawlessness, disorder and disruption to highway restoration work by landowners demanding compensation.

Mr O'Neill says the government wants to restore the highway as quickly as possible because it is an important economic lifeline for all the highlands provinces.

He has appealed to villagers on both sides of the land slip area not to take advantage of the disaster to demand compensation and harass travellers.