Policing in the upper highlands of Papua New Guinea has become increasingly difficult with police personnel themselves become victims of violence.
A recent training program, facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross or ICRC for police and PND Defense Forces in the four Highlands Provinces, will refresh their understanding of international policing standards.
The training will enhance the abilities of the security forces working and living in Western Highlands, Enga, Hela and Southern Highlands to enforce their duties according to national and international guidelines or standards of policing.
These will include; Rules of engagement, rules on when to use force, and how they respect human rights laws.
The four provinces chosen, because of increasing law and order issues.
ICRC facilitator, Sylvain Ganon says, ’’the objectives of the workshop were to enhance the understanding of the RPNGC and PNGDF officers on International standards of policing and provide opportunity to discuss the main challenges faced in PNG, and to increase the awareness of the participants about the mandate and the activities of the ICRC’’.
The challenges however, prove to be increasingly difficult, with some aspects of the local culture and attitude, playing a role as well.
Some police personnel have become victims of gun violence, especially in places such as Hela and Enga Provinces.
This is a challenge many police officers face every day, knowing they might return home dead or alive, and whether they can use force when there is violence.
’’The training will remind us of the rules of conduct, help us increase discipline, and guide us to enforce the law when conducting our operations with total respect to citizens, ’’ said Porgera Police Station Commander, Senior Sergeant Jack Kimala.
The training is a refresher for both police and PNG Defence Force personnel to enforce their duties with care, as many innocent lives have also been lost to police brutality.
Military personnel also assist police in enforcing law and order, and this kind of training will enhance their understanding of when to use force when there is no war.
Almost 40 per cent of the country’s yearly budget is used to resolve law and order issues in the country.
Prime Minister, James Marape says under his leadership, the National Government will not fund districts and provinces that are fighting and causing law and order problems.
By Vasinatta Yama, EM TV – Mt Hagen