|Deadly MAG 58 Model 60-20 machine guns mounted on a cabin-top truck in the Southern Highlands. |
A former Papua New Guinea military commander has warned that he is “concerned, if not frightened” that the PNG Defence Force may be deploying police and soldiers in the troubled Southern Highlands province facing a deadly weapon.
Ex-Brigadier-General Jerry Singirok , a former commander of the PNGDF who arrested mercenaries deployed by the Sir Julius Chan government for the Bougainville war in the so-called Sandline crisis in 1997, has made his views known in independent media.
In an item published by PNG Attitude and EMTV journalist Scott Waide’s blog, Singirok described Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s government response to last week’s Mendi riots as a “premature state of emergency” and a “cheap, reckless and knee-jerk option”.
His comments have come at a time when the nation has been shocked by the display of high powered assault weapons by protesters since last week’s Mendi rioting.
It is clear that the government’s guns amnesty last year did little to encourage people to surrender their weapons, reports Loop PNG.