Prime Minister (PM) James Marape has assured the Governor for Western province that the matters relating to the disciplinary issues caused by the Papua New Guinean Defence Force (PNGDF) personnel in Kiunga town, will be addressed.
Governor Taboi Awi Yoto was talking about the poor discipline portrayed by the members of the defence force at the forward operating base at Kiunga and requested for the base to be relocated our to a place outside the township.
Governor Awi Yoto also said that justice has not be delivered yet for the deputy president of the Morehead Local Level Government (LLG) who was allegedly murdered by members of the defence force in an incident that occurred back in 2020.
He called on the PM and the defence minister to look into this matter as well and have those responsible face the law and be dealt with for what they did.
PM Marape said the disciplinary issue within the defence force is being addressed with efforts put in by the new Commander of Defence Force (CDF). He said the CDF is aware of these matters and with his team have put in new plans and programs to lift the standards of the defence force and improve its operational capability to ensure the country’s borders are protected, its resources are being protected and provide the support to the government.
In terms of disciplinary matters, the PM is confident the defence force will continue to address it going forward.
“I have absolute faith in the Commander of Defence, Major General Mark Goina, as he settles in. We look forward to this being stepped up,” said the PM.
Marape then told the governor that his recommendation to relocate the base at Kiunga will be looked into.
“I will pass on these issues to the defence minister, defence council, the defence secretary and the defence commander.”
The PM said the country’s borders are important and that is why this matters raised will be closely looked at, so to ensure that soldiers deployed to the posts are performing their duties and not causing any problem for the local communities on ground.
The PM said this when responding to questions from the Western Governor during question time in parliament last week.