10 Jul 2013

Bougainville plans for security units with ex-combatants

5:46 pm on 10 July 2013

The autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville has revealed more details about its plans for a security unit using ex-combatants.

The idea for such a unit comes as the province continues to grapple with law and order issues.

The president, John Momis, told Don Wiseman the situation is getting better but more resources are needed.

JOHN MOMIS: We see a way forward. If only we had a bit of money to take some creative measures to promote law and order, a rule of law. And we are taking some measures such as forming a security company in partnership with a well-known Australian security company that provided security for the Sydney Olympic Games. And we want to absorb the e x-combatants, the ex-fighters, as well as young civilians, have them well trained. We are going to set up an academy here to train them well, according to Australian standards, to provide surveillance on the border between Bougainville and the Solomon Islands. And these security people would provide security for the mine when the mine reopens, as well as for ports, international airports, banks, so on and so forth. And also...

DON WISEMAN: Why don't you just create more police?

JM: The police is difficult because the training they get from Port Moresby is not suitable for the Bougainville situation. In fact, we are talking with the New Zealand and Australian governments to run horses for the police here on Bougainville. The other reason why we're developing the security company is to absorb the ex-combatants, because when they're running around loose sometimes they go and help the police. But they send expensive invoices to the government, which we cannot afford to pay on a sustainable basis. So we might as well form a company. And security companies throughout the world are being formed to supplement the work of the police. We don't want to let the police down, of course, but it's very expensive. Once you form the company, the security company, the company runs the thing. They no longer depend on us.