Hundreds of police deployed to end lawlessness in PNG's Hela

10:22 am on 9 January 2017
Hela Province Tribesmen

Hela Province Tribesmen Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

More than 300 police and military personnel have been deployed to Papua New Guinea's Hela province as an operation to end a spate of lawlessness gets underway.

The province, home to the lucrative LNG gas project, has been gripped by widespread tribal fighting and a build-up of firearms, which local police have been at a loss to prevent.

The chief secretary to the national government, Isaac Lupari, said the personnel will march in the provincial capital, Tari, on Monday before being deployed across the province.

ExxonMobil's LNG Project cuts a swathe of development through Hela province in PNG's Highlands.

ExxonMobil's LNG Project cuts a swathe of development through Hela province in PNG's Highlands. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

He said the operation is necessary because the fighting represents a genuine threat to law and order in the province.

Mr Lupari told the Post Courier newspaper that the operations will be reviewed at the end of February.

An arms moratorium has also been introduced.

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