Mendi unrest 2018

Destroyed plane dismantled in Mendi

After completion of investigation by police crime scene officers attached to the investigation task force (ITF) in Mendi, the plane was dismantled for dispatch to Air Niugini headquarters for its own enquiries.

This signifies a conclusion to police investigations.

The crime scene officers have also completed investigation into the arson of the Governor’s residence, NAC office and damages to the Air Niugini terminal and South West air hangar.

Local force will not be investigated: ACP

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Crimes and Investigative Task Force (ITF) Commander, Hodges Ette, made this known in the wake of mounting suspicions from police in Southern Highlands that they will be subject to investigations as well.

Ette revealed this in a recent parade at the Mendi Police Station.

He said the province’s police personnel’s fundamental duty to provide services to the public must be upheld at all times.

Kobol seeks review in Supreme Court

Petitioner in the Southern Highlands Regional seat, Joseph Kobol, went before the Supreme Court with an application seeking leave to file for review.  

A ruling will be given at a later date.

Justice Derek Hartshorn, sitting as a single Supreme Court judge, today heard submission from lawyers representing Kobol, the Electoral Commission and Governor William Powi.

Kobol is asking the Supreme Court to grant him leave to file a review into the dismissal of his petition in the National Court on June 14 after it was found to be incompetent.

Update on SHP state of emergency

Manning, who is the Operations Commander for the SHP SOE 2018, said the SOE operation is intended to rebuild the police force in the province.

Commander Manning said: “We will instill public confidence in the police and restore the integrity of police by conducting operational duties independently to bring back peace in the communities.

“Our job is to rebuild the police force in the province and ensure a higher degree of policing services is available to the various communities and that the police-public relationship is improved.

42,000 vaccines destroyed in Mendi

A disgusted Emergency Controller of the Emergency Disaster Restoration Team, Dr Bill Hamblin, said the rampage also saw supplies stored in two warehouse in Mendi looted.

“Not only were supplies stolen up there and resold on the streets, but the plane that was destroyed was carrying vaccines for under 5-year-old children; 42,000 vaccines destroyed,” he said.

“Now we have no replacement for those in the country where UNICEF is trying to replace those at the moment.

Over 400 soldiers in Highlands

In a media briefing yesterday, PNGDF chief-of-staff, Captain Philip Polewara, said the soldiers are assisting police with the law and order situation.

Following the June 14th rampage in Mendi, additional security forces were deployed to prevent further unlawful behaviour.

The PNGDF chief-of-staff, Captain Philip Polewara, said the forces are monitoring entry and exit points into the town.

Public weapons display shocks nation

Social media itself was bombarded with all sorts of comments against the events that transpired, including the burning of Air Niugini’s subsidiary, Link PNG Services Dash 8 aircraft.

The Government, in response, declared an extension of the State of Emergency, approving K6 million funding and a call out for PNG Defence Force soldiers.

The NEC than made a pre-emptive decision to suspend the Southern Highlands Provincial Government.

PM condemns calls for his resignation

O’Neill said now is the time for parties involved in the court decision that preceded the unrest to work together.

In a media conference yesterday, PM O’Neill said the leaders of Southern Highlands have organised themselves, particularly those involved in the election dispute, so they can work together to manage expectations of the people in the province.

He said every time there is an incident around the country, the Opposition always calls for his resignation.

AIC will not probe aircraft destruction

AIC Chief Commissioner Hubert Namani said the AIC was promptly notified about the Mendi riots last Thursday afternoon and the substantial damage to Mendi town and airport infrastructure, including the aircraft.

Namani said in accordance with International Standards, this is not an air safety matter because the aircraft was parked and the engines were shut down.

However, he said it is an extremely serious aviation security occurrence and a criminal act warranting police and aviation security investigation due to it occurring on an airport.

Mendi doctors, families to be evacuated

The National Doctors Association says hospital services will be on emergency mode. The scale down started yesterday (June 18th).

For the time being, five medical officers will be on the ground to cover 5 emergency areas: