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Brigadier General Gilbert Toropo Denies Claims About a Platoon Deployed to Kandep

PNG Defense Force Commander, Brigadier General Gilbert Toropo, has denied claims about a platoon being deployed to the Kandep electorate.

Yesterday, leader of the Triumph Heritage Empowerment (T.H.E.) Party, Don Polye, claimed that a platoon was deployed to Kandep and he questioned the reasoning behind this move.

Commander Toropo said today that there are only ten defence force personnel in Kompiam-Ambum, and ten in Hela, because of tribal conflicts.

Yesterday, Mr. Polye called a media conference to express concerns about the deployment of PNG Defence Force personnel in his electorate in Kandep.

The Department of Defence said the NEC approved the callout of PNGDF for a period of six months to cover the firearms moratorium, the 2017 National Elections and other contingencies.

It was explained that PNGDF personnel were in Hela and Kompiam for consultation with local groups to ensure normalcy in coordination with police on the ground.

Leaders at Kompiam raised concerns that led to the deployment of personnel following tensions in the area that resulted in the death of over 30 people and destruction of property at Kompiam Station.

The Department of Defence also said it is inappropriate for anyone to attempt to politicise security issues, particularly during the election period.

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