Manning said the Government of PNG has allocated K7.5 million for police security operations for the Bougainville Referendum. The RPNGC involvement will see a total of 50 police personnel from around PNG being deployed to Bougainville to assist the Bougainville Police Service (BPS).
“These police personnel deployed to Bougainville are actually Bougainvilleans working in other parts of PNG or other Papua New Guineans with attachments to Bougainville through marriage,” Manning stated.
He said due to the importance of the Bougainville Referendum, he had approved the deployment of a team from the Police Media Unit to Bougainville in September to assist the BPS with its awareness campaign.
Manning said planning for the security operations has been a collaborative effort between the BPS and the RPNGC, which resulted in a budget of K7.5 million being put forward and approved by the Government of PNG.
“The people of Bougainville will be asked to express their preferences between greater autonomy and independence. The Bougainville Referendum is important to the people of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and the Government of PNG and we will do our level best to ensure that the people of Bougainville can peacefully, and without undue stress and influence, determine their own future political status.”