There is no immediate end in sight for the continuing military deployment and State of Emergency around the Porgera mine owned by Barrick Gold and Zijin Mining. Barrick and the government like to describe large-scale mining as ‘development’ but with both the PNG Defence Force and a police mobile squad required to keep the fragile peace it is clear that ‘development’ is not for the local people. Mining puts plenty of profits into the hands of foreign mining companies and their investors and into the pockets of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats in Port Moresby but life for local people is a misery…
Porgera State-Of-Emergency Operations Successful
PNG Today | 3.02.2016
The National Government State-of-Emergency (SOE) call-out seeks to put in place an ‘exit plan’ by December 2016, according to outgoing contingent commander Superintendent Joseph Poma.
He said this move will be to ensure that Porgera Police, Enga Provincial Police command, and the Enga Provincial Government execute their own plans on policing duties in Porgera district.
“This year 2016 is the time we have to put our exit plan in place the PPC, the PSC, and provincial government to take over the security operations.
“We’ve got strategic plan in place so to ensure those plans are in place come December 2016.
“General SOE operation has been very successful. Our presence here has seen a great reduction in illegal mining in the pit”, he said as he also thanked Paiam Police Station commander Inspector Peter Yambun for the support as well.
And at least 64 people were arrested for minor offences during the festive period in the district, and credit goes to the Porgera community for a peaceful festive period.
The minor offences included drunk and disorderly behavior as well as causing willful damages, among others.
Mr.Poma said these at the conclusion of the Christmas and New Year security operations conducted by members of the SOE call-out contingent and members of Paiam police.
He said unlike previous years, the festive season in Porgera was quiet, thanks to the general Porgera community for ensuring there were no major law and order issues.
“My encouragement is to the people of Porgera to continue to maintain that. Where there is peace, there is development. No peace, no development. So they must see that as an example and
I want them to continue to support that.“…also my thank you to the SOE operations unit.
They’ve been very supportive”, a very satisfied Mr Poma said.Mr Poma also attributed the peaceful festive period to the pre-Christmas and New Year operations which included awareness, conducted by the call-out members of the security forces made up of the PNG Defense Force (PNGDF) Second Royal Pacific Island Regiment (2RPIR), and Police Mobile Squad 14 (MS14) from Eastern Highlands.
The call-out members were Wewak-based 2RPIR Charlie Company under the command of L/P Mark Akasitai with the assistance of Military Liaison Officer (MLO) Captain Valentine Mok, and members of MS14 led by acting commander Senior Constable Ikani Bile.
Raids were also conducted during the operation which resulted in the confiscation of homebrew and other illicit items.
The items included five (5) 20L containers with the brew, and 394 of the 500mL pet bottles containing the homebrew with a street value of about K11,000.
Mr.Poma also said the security forces confiscated 151 cartons and 21 bottles of alcohol from a local eatery which had the license to operate as a restaurant, but had allegedly sold alcohol to members of the public.
He said his troops came upon some people who were under the influence of alcohol, who led police to the restaurant.