World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Australia To Bail Out PNG Defence

USP Pacific Journalism Online: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/
USP Pasifik Nius: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/nius/index.html
USP Pasifik Nius stories on Scoop (NZ):
http://www.scoop.co.nz/international.htm
Have your say: http://www.TheGuestBook.com/vgbook/109497.gbook

By South Pacific correspondent 19 Oct 00

AUSTRALIA is to help Papua New Guinea reform its armed forces with an aid package that includes funding for soldiers' rations and unpaid allowances, the Australian reports.

Defence aid to Port Moresby will treble to nearly $25 million this year in support of the attempt by the Morauta Government to overhaul the country's increasingly unruly forces.

John Howard said yesterday Australia would provide a special package of immediate aid, including a financial bail-out for the PNG Defence Force, which has been collecting debts since its Bougainville deployment began 10 years ago.

Worth almost $15 million in total, the one-off package of assistance is over and above the annual $8 million provided under Australia's Defence Co-operation Program.

Up to 30 Australian defence advisers may be deployed into a PNG force increasingly beset with discipline, corruption and management problems.

The assistance, which represents a large shift in Australia's defence policy with PNG, follows a personal request to Mr Howard from his PNG counterpart Mekere Morauta during the Olympics.

Sir Mekere outlined his reform plan yesterday to the PNG parliament, saying the defence force was ill-disciplined and incapable of protecting the nation.

In March, soldiers demonstrated in Port Moresby over poor wages, accommodation, catering and unpaid service benefits.

Last month on PNG's 25th anniversary of independence, enraged soldiers burned down their barracks at Wewak.

A just-completed review of the defence force also revealed that the force could not meet its basic needs, including feeding its men, and would not be able to deploy a significant force anywhere in the country in less than 30 days. Sir Mekere's reform plans are expected to reduce the force from its current level of 4200 men to about 1500 by the middle of next year.

Sir Mekere yesterday announced plans for a commonwealth-sponsored eminent persons group to oversee the reforms. An Australian is expected to head this group, given the long history of Australian involvement in the PNG Defence Force, which was established at independence in 1975.

+++niuswire


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>

ALSO:

Myanmar: UN Chief Rohingya Refugee Crisis Enters Second Year

Over 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to ramshackle refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area, Bangladesh after being forced from their homes by a military operation which UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein compared, at the time, to ethnic cleansing. More>>

ALSO:

Scott Morrison In Hot Seat: NZ Congratulates Current Australian PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today congratulated Scott Morrison on winning the leadership of the Australian Liberal Party and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. More>>

ALSO:

Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC