Monday, December 19, 2011

Kulunga ‘lays off’ police response unit

Source: The National, Monday 19th December 2011
By JUNIOR UKAHA
THE Port Moresby-based armed robbery response unit (ARRU), which was under the command of Fred Yakasa, was disarmed by his rival Tom Kulunga last Friday.
Kulunga said the move was necessary to “maintain a good public perception” of the constabulary.
He said the unit was not being disbanded but simply stood-down until the political upheaval was resolved.
Kulunga said once that happened the unit would be re-commissioned.
“Your guns and vehicles will be returned to you at a later date,” he said.
“The conflict is not in the police force but between two political groups,” he said.
“But some people happen to be caught in between.”
Kulunga insisted he was the legitimate commissioner and warned members of the police force not to take advice from non-commissioned officers.
“There’s only one commissioner and that’s me. I am the commissioner. I remain steadfast until a new appointment is made,” he said.
Kulunga said there was no division in the police force but did not say whether the armed robbery response unit was receiving orders from anyone else.
Kulunga said “I don’t know” and “I don’t think so” when asked if the unit was taking orders from another commissioner to stage barricades at Government House last Monday and Tuesday.
Half of the 45-man team under the command of Insp Fred Tundu drove to police headquarters to return their firearms and vehicles.
The armed robbery response unit was the group that prevented Peter O’Neill from entering Government House on Monday evening.

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