PNG Police Minister targets illegal arms build-up

Papua New Guinea police. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Papua New Guinea's Police Minister says the government is aiming to strengthen laws to prevent the build-up of illegal weapons.

Jelta Wong has sounded a warning for instigators of deadly election-related violence in two Highlands provinces.

He said hundreds of extra police officers have been deployed to Southern Highlands and Enga to contain lingering unrest.

The capital of Southern, Mendi, went into lockdown two weeks ago after the death of two policemen.

Mr Wong has placed blame on disgruntled leaders and election candidates who compel their supporters to take up arms and create havoc.

"I've lost four policemen in this last election, and that's four too many," he said.

"That's why I've put a lot of emphasis on gun control, the illegal weapons coming in to the country, and we're trying to change laws that will actually hurt..people will be afraid to do these things once the law is done. At the moment our laws are pretty lax."

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