EXXONMOBIL has clarified that Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) deployments in highlands regions will help assist police with law and order issues and they will not provide security or support to PNG LNG project sites.
PNGDF soldier during Wantok Warrior exercise. Picture copyright Commonwealth of Australia (reserved).
A Post-Courier report specified that PNG’s Cabinet approved a PNGDF call-out to PNG LNG sites over the next 12 months, which was separate to its approval to send troops to the Indonesian border.
“The PNG government recently announced it would continue to deploy defence force personnel to the Hela and Southern Highlands provinces, as well as along the Highlands Highway, to assist police in addressing law and order issues,” an Exxon spokesperson said.
“The PNGDF (has) been deployed by the PNG government since before the 2012 elections.”
Truck holdups and container robbery incidents are increasingly occurring on the vital Highlands Highway.