BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
WESTERN Province Premier Wayne Maepio has called for an extension to PRT’s presence in the border.
Mr Maepioh says the formidable police response team (PRT) is an integral factor to keeping the peace in the province.
He says, from experience they feel that a retaliation may happen if the PRT withdraws early from the province, while emotions are still high.
“Despite of what we have achieved so for, we do not really know what will happen next as the border is so open and no proper control of the movement of the people.
“Our fear is what next for those we repatriated. This doesn’t mean we undermine the potential of our police officers here, but we are looking at strengthening their capacity so that we can combat any other illegal happening thereafter.”
Meanwhile, Maepioh thanks the Bougainvilleans who had surrendered themselves to the police and had been repatriated.
He calls on the people of Western province to continue with normal business activities and normal living.
“We have achieved so far through this combine efforts, together with Chiefs, Church elders, government and RSIPF.
“I am pretty sure that we will further enhance the trust and confidence through working together to bring peace in our province and country as a whole.
“We thank you Chiefs and elders of Bourneville, Shortland Island, the RSIPF commissioner Mathew Valey, police officers, PRT and general public for your concern to restore peace in our beautiful Western province.”