Business Highlands News

Porgera Call Out Concerns

by Bridgette Komatep, EM TV – Port Moresby

While the Porgera Call Out by Joint Security Personnel is underway, concerns have been raised over the disciplined forces violent conduct when arresting suspects or intimidating those travelling in public.

One of the victims, who has since fled Porgera Valley for safety is Mek Lawai. They have called on the prime minister and the police minister to address review the call out operations and ensure discipline.

Rimbink Ming, Freeman Leme and Meck Lawai from Enga Province are victims of the alleged abuse by the joint security forces in Porgera. They claim that the joint security forces are targeting people in possession of large sums of cash, and those in possession of valuable items and businessman, like these three men.

With the deployment of the second Joint Security Forces under Operation Short Stop, crime rates have dropped since the first call out was made on April 23. Barrick Gold, the developer of Porgera Gold Mine is a major cooperate partner in the Call Out Operation due to increase illegal miners and rise in criminal activities in the Porgera Valley.

However, Mek and his relatives feel that they are being victimised by the joint forces because of their status. They are also alluvial miners not from Porgera Mining Lease area but other parts of Enga where alluvial activity is one way of making fast money. Mr Lawai and his relatives want both the police and PNG Defence forces hierarchy to review the Porgera Call Out Operations

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