The Papua New Guinea Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PNGCCI) is calling on the Government to place more emphasis on internal security, especially during this covid-19 pandemic.
This follows a recent spate of attacks against individuals, communities, businesses, and even the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC).
As the body representing Papua New Guinean Business, PNGCCI is gravely concerned about the apparent breakdown of law and order across the country, and is calling on the authorities to work together to address these issues as a matter of urgency.
In the capital Port Moresby, clashes between different ethnic groups in the Badili / Koki area have escalated over the past week, which has affected many city residents, who now feel unsafe to move around freely.
In Alotau, an evening attack on its Police Barracks by armed gangs again shows the lack of respect in the rule of law by armed groups, intent in instilling fear on the lives of law-abiding citizens.
There are also reports of ethnic clashes in Mount Hagen (Western Highlands) and Kainantu (Eastern Highlands), which have affected business operations in these areas.
There are similar incidents that are also occurring in Porgera, Kokopo and other major towns and cities.
These incidents have had a negative effect on businesses; many have been forced to shut down temporarily. The cost to businesses as a result of these incidents has been immense. With many businesses not operating, in fear of looting, businesses stand to lose much needed revenue, with their employees in danger of not being paid.
Having our towns and cities held to ransom over these incidents is not acceptable, as there is always a need for a safe environment, for businesses to operate freely.
The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) as the agency responsible for maintaining law and order should be provided the necessary support during this time.
Businesses have, and will continue to support the work of authorities, including the RPNGC, to ensure that that peace and order is maintained.