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Papua New Guinea rebel soldiers demand Somare's reinstatement

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 01:49

Jan. 26 - Mutiny leader in Papua New Guinea demands the governor-general reinstate former Prime Minister Michael Somare. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.

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EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL (SOUNDBITE) REBEL COMMANDER YAURA SASA SAYING (English): "The most important task is to restore the integrity and respect for the constitution and judiciary of the independent state of Papua New Guinea. A small band of Papua New Guinea soldiers have mutinied and placed their chief commander under house arrest. Rebel Commander Colonel Yaura Sasa set their demands. (SOUNDBITE) REBEL COMMANDER YAURA SASA SAYING(English): "Having said that, I am now calling onto the head of state to immediately implement the Supreme Court decision relating to Sir Michael Somare's position as the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea." Current Prime Minister Peter O'Neill took office in August 2011 after former Prime Minister Michael Somare was ruled ineligible to be an MP due to a long illness. A few hours after Sasa's demands, the nations deputy Prime Minister called on him to surrender. (SOUNDBITE) DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER BELDEN NAMAH SAYING(English): "All I can say is Sasa has until 4.06 p.m. to surrender himself. He doesn't have the 14 days. He has until 4.06 p.m. to surrender because he is illegally occupying the office of the commander. That's basically it. I want to also inform the people of Papua New Guinea and assure them that all the government institutions have been secured." Residents have said the dusty port capital was quiet but tense. There have been no reports of violence within the city. The resource-rich Pacific Island nation has gone through a prolonged period of political instability and has a history of political and military unrest. Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters

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Papua New Guinea rebel soldiers demand Somare's reinstatement

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 01:49