The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary welcome a calming of tensions of the past week – but are aware that hostilities are still simmering.
We will remain vigilant and continue to strengthen our presence and engagement in the province.
We are closely monitoring isolated instances of violent confrontation. As part of this process, we are engaging with leaders to ensure that peace can prevail, and law and order restored into our various communities in the tribal fighting areas.
I commend the recent engagement of our political leaders in calling for calm in Enga and engaging with their people in hot spot areas.
Police will ensure that the rule of law is respected by all.
Police operations to combat this domestic terrorism threat in Enga are well underway with:o ACP Samson Kua tasked to lead specialized efforts against the criminal element in Enga;o Search warrants being executed against a number of known agitators, and investigations are continuing;o The tools that police need to deliver maximum force to neutralize this criminal element have been made available; and,o Police operations are calming tensions, removing instigators, and shining a light on those who pull the strings.
The police leadership is focused on ensuring our security forces have the personnel and tools they need to escalate force in Enga, if required, and mitigate any future threats.
Accordingly, we have two mobile squads on the ground in Enga, and these are providing targeted support to the Provincial policing manpower.
Two additional mobile squads have been mobilized for urgent deployment in line with operational orders.
Long-range recon units and other specialist units have been inserted. These units are providing security forces with up-to-date intelligence on criminals who seek to terrorize communities. This includes both those who wield guns and those who direct them.
Policing equipment including firearms, ammunition, and less-than-lethal munitions continue to be made available to meet operational needs.
I have issued orders for two armored vehicles to be deployed to Enga. These will provide enhanced operational readiness should these criminal elements choose to terrorize local populations.
The Commissioner has announced the formation of the Kumul 23 Police Tactical Group. Kumul 23 is an elite tactical force, combining the best of the police and security forces. This special tactical group will:§ Complement our standard operational forces; and,§ Provide a precision capability to apprehend domestic terrorist ringleaders, dismantle terrorist cells, and target those who direct these terrorists.
This special tactical group reports directly to the Office of Commissioner of Police, and is a key component of our law enforcement and national security apparatus.
I will be able to announce further details about the Kumul 23 PTG in the coming week.
The Commissioner has also announced a formation of Miok Force comprising a team of 70 Enga policemen and women based in the National Capital District to conduct a massive awareness campaign throughout the Enga province. Miok Force will be divided into six teams and will cover all six districts of the Enga Province.
They know the language. They know the customs and they know the underlying issues. As policemen and women they have a genuine desire to bring peace and normalcy back into the Enga Province.
Engan public servants, business-people, student leaders, churches, youth and women groups, will be encouraged to join Miok Force teams in the awareness campaign in the various districts of the Enga province.
We are sending out the message to all Engan elites, you are either with us and want peace and law and order to prevail, or you are against us. No-one should be an observer here. Come on board and let’s bring back peace and stability into the Enga Province.
This is their province, and they must all be involved now in securing peace and order.