Post Courier | February 16,2017
THE CALL-OUT operation in Hela Province has not been successful because high powered firearms have not yet been surrendered since the operation started two months ago.
This has forced the Hela provincial government to look at ways to introduce a provincial executive council decision to have a buy-back gun program.
Hela Governor Francis Potape said that more than a month has passed but the gun surrender was not happening in Hela, adding that only homemade guns had been surrendered.
Commenting on the issue, Police Commissioner Gari Baki said while he is unable to give the number of weapons returned, police would be moving in to confiscate weapons from known owners, when the moratorium expired.
“We have intelligence reports on all people in possession of firearms that have not surrendered.”
“We will go directly to them, if they still have weapons within the vicinity of their areas, we will arrest them, whether they are leaders or ordinary people, that’s the arrangement we are taking now.”
Commissioner Baki added that he did not think that the rate of factory made weapons returned was a success and that was why the police needed to take a different approach.
The moratorium should be an ideal environment to have all factory made weapons returned”, he said.
Meanwhile, PNG Defence Force Lieutenant-Colonel John Manuai confirmed that they were not able to do their work effectively when funding was not coming on time to assist them with logistics as required by soldiers and police in such operations, besides allowances.
“Allowance is just one aspect but the operational requirement is another thing that will make our work effective to achieve results,” he said.
Lt-Col Manuai who flew to Port Moresby yesterday said that he would follow up on the issues including timely release of funds and the requirements for the operations when he meets with the Chief Secretary.
He said it would be better if the funds are released for the police or the defence force to control.
Meanwhile attempts to contact the Prime Minister’s department, Mr Lupari and Director National Security Advisory Council coordinator Tony Kaip have been unsuccessful.