PRIME Minister James Marape has condemned in no uncertain terms “the use of force and breaking of the law” by members of the country’s disciplinary forces in yesterday’s PNGDF|RPNGC physical confrontation in Port Moresby.
He has also summoned the Police Commissioner and Defence Commander to appear before him today to provide an explanation, after returning from East New Britain and hearing of the incident.
He said: “I am appalled at the news that members of our two disciplinary forces have resorted to the use of force and breaking of law to resolve a law and order issue.
“Police and soldiers are supposed to be the most disciplined of people, yet it is very disappointing to see such breakdowns happening and continuing.
“Not just as the Prime Minister but as the Defence Minister, I am directing all soldiers involved in this altercation to immediately withdraw to your barracks, and for the Commander and commanding officers to immediately restore order at Taurama Barracks.
“Most of you soldiers are hardworking; you put your body on the line. Do not allow the ill-discipline of a few and the ill response of police to allow a resolvable situation to get out of hand.
“I have called for joint police and military investigation into this matter.
“My Government has never tolerated this behavior and going forward, we will not entertain it in any way. Matters of genuine concern have to be handled lawfully. This is the only way.
“Disciplinary actions such as these involving alcohol and acts of public disorder warrants discharges from both the police and the military. It will be most unfortunate for hardworking Defence and police officers to be discharged.
“Hence, I call on all soldiers and police personnel to exercise restraint at all times and may incidents of such nature be handled maturely and lawfully,” said PM Marape.