Bougainville Minister for Police, Correctional Services and Justice, Willie Masiu, has called on the national government to fast-track the establishment of the border post along the Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands border.
He made the call in light of the recent border incursion by armed thugs from South Bougainville and Solomon Islands who stormed and attacked the border village of Maleai located just along the PNG and Solomon Islands border on February 6.
The group made off with substantial amount of money from a Chinese national, who was buying beche-de-mer on the islands, wounding at least two villagers in the process.
While condemning the highly volatile international incident, Mr Masiu reminded the national government that if they had gone ahead with their plans to establish the border posts, such incidents would not have happened. The then border development authority has earmarked two border posts – one at Kangu in South Bougainville and the other one at Kerekere in Central Bougainville.
“These border problems will still occur because there is no border post at the strategic locations. The border posts would have accommodated the Customs, Quarantine, Immigration and police officers and would make it very easy to deal with such situations on the ground.
“It will be very easy to investigate the cases if there are border posts. Customs will do the investigation and then hand over to the police to charge the law breakers.”
Mr Masiu appealed to the people of Buin, South Bougainville and Bougainville to refrain from going overseas and causing problems in other countries, in this case, Solomon Islands.
“Such attitude must stop. It’s not good for our relationship with the international community especially when we’re heading for referendum.”
He is appealing to the law abiding peace loving Bougainvilleans to assist the Bougainville Police Service to arrest those involved.
“Any information on the whereabouts of this group of men must be relayed to the police so police can do their work.”
Mr Masiu extended his invitation to Solomon Island police to do their investigations, and liaise with the Bougainville Police Service do the arrests if the perpetrators are from Bougainville.
“If the armed criminals are from Solomon Islands, Solomon Island police must do the same too.