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Picture: Tarami Legei Source: The Australian
By Reginald Renagi

PNG faces many security challenges. All security agencies and the intelligence community needs to start seriously addressing vital issues affecting our internal security. Regular public debates and inter-agency cooperation is very important. Such agency interactions will enhance and deepen the public and MP’s understanding of internal security matters. It will also lead to a consensus on what needs to be done to strengthen PNG’s internal security. Security operations over the years and subsequent security strategy discussions would by now provided law enforcement agencies some firm basis to develop sound practical action plans. There are many developments taking place in PNG and in our strategic environment that impinges on internal security. It is important to understand their true nature and the exact way they can or could affect us. We also need to understand better why many more local youth are being induced into participating in criminal activities and how they are being recruited, indoctrinated and trained. The factors that cause social disharmony and alienation should be clearly known so that we can work to eliminate them. I see many internal security threats our country faces. We have not achieved as much success as we would have liked in containing some internal security threats. It should be of a national concern that despite law enforcement efforts, the level of violence in our society to rise. Dealing with internal security challenges requires a holistic approach – it cannot be treated simply as a law and order problem. Despite its sanguinary nature, some criminal activities retain the support of a section of our communities and the poorest of the poor in many affected areas. It has influence among certain sections of the civil society, the intelligentsia and our youth. All this adds to the complexity of the problem and the police and other law enforcement agencies must always keep this in mind as it continues to devise newer and better strategies to deal with this challenge. They constitute a serious hampering of the implementation of a number of development projects in PNG. It is possible to bring about a substantial improvement in our security situation if there is better security management. We must achieve, higher levels of professionalism from the police force we have now. Firm but compassionate handling of law and order matters, can certainly bring about substantial improvement in the prevailing state of affairs. So in terms of numbers, we are dealing with a very limited number of people who have gone astray. If we do not and we cannot deal with them at the present stage of our development, it might be more difficult at a later date to tame these evil forces.
But there is no scope for complacency. There are certain developments that must be effectively addressed. Encounters with armed militants have become more frequent in recent weeks and months. Secessionist and militant groups within the country will attempt to make trouble with external elements. The intention may be to create an impression of widespread turmoil in the country. We must not and I repeat we must not allow such a situation to develop. It is imperative that these disruptive efforts are contained, controlled and effectively checked.

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