Exxon Mobil LNG a “very serious threat to national security” says Sandline hero

Former PNG Defence Force Commander, Major General Jerry Singirok, has issued a stark warning that the Exxon-Mobil LNG project could lead to a civil war in PNG bigger than the Bougainville crisis.

Foreign-owned security companies "pose a great threat to the country": Singirok

“If they are not careful with what is happening in the LNG project area, the situation there can be much larger and far worse than Bougainville,” says the man who masterminded the departure of mercenaries hired by the Government to put down the Bougainville rebellion 13 years ago.

“My greatest fear right now is that we are now setting the stage for another Bougainville crisis in Southern Highlands because all the right conditions are there”.

Singirok says the government has failed to heed lessons about allowing foreign security companies to work in PNG, especially in big resource projects.

“Now with the LNG project in the Southern Highlands, the Government has allowed developers to bring in foreign-owned security companies [like G4S, the world’s largest security company, which has recently established itself in PNG] that have no appreciation of the local customs, cultures and the people.

“These companies are dismantling the police and Defence Force by recruiting their best men to work on the project sites with promises of better pay and conditions,” Gen Singirok said.

“With lousy pay and service conditions, police and Defence Force personnel are living below poverty line. That is why they are taking up offers to work as security personnel for foreign-owned security companies at the LNG project,” Gen Singirok said.

“Has anyone done any due diligence checks on these foreign security companies?” he asked.

Gen Singirok said the foreign-owned security companies came here with one purpose, to use maximum force against landowners or anyone who tried to frustrate work on the project.

“The presence of foreign-owned security companies in PNG poses a great threat to the country.

“I want to know what their rules of engagement are, what types of firepower they have and who authorised them to have high-powered firearms.

“The use of foreign private security companies happens in countries where the state has failed to provide the needed security.

“Conditions are ripe for a major crisis if the Government is not careful.

“Firstly, there is a serious breakdown of law and order in Southern Highlands province right now.

“Secondly is the massive build-up of illegal firearms as a result of lack of control by State law enforcement agencies to contain the influx of these firearms.

“Thirdly is the lack of border control on the PNG-Indonesia border as well as the PNG-Australian border.

“The fourth issue is the obvious lack of Government investment in Defence Force, police and Correctional Services.

“These are the concerns that all add up to what I call a very serious threat to our national security by governments in office,” Gen Singirok said.

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6 Responses to “Exxon Mobil LNG a “very serious threat to national security” says Sandline hero”

  1. And guess who ultimately owns G4S? Tim Spicer – the leader of the Sandline boys who were thrown out of PNG. He did promise he would return.

  2. We salute General Singirok. We still need your brain to help with the development of Papua New Guinea, particularly the Security Policy issue and implementation.

    No doubt the President of National Alliance Simon Kaiwi who is the major shareholder of Protect and G4S had got the better of all thinking and like-minded people of PNG.

  3. Now I understand the wisdom of the government to quickly get the second LNG project off the ground. There’s got to be another project capable of filling the economic void if Exxon is forced out tomorrow.

    Exxon will be well advised to not treat PNG as another failed state from Africa so that they can bring in mercenaries to run amok in our country. PNG has got a completely different dynamics to Africa so don’t believe for a moment that your bullying tactics in Africa and elsewhere will work here.

    We may be cash poor but we certainly are not poor in the real sense of the word. We can kick Exxon out tomorrow and will continue to live a happy life. We have nothing to lose.

    When General Singirok reports for duty, we shall dutifully follow him and kick arse as they did back in 1997.

  4. I believe that this general is speaking a load of nonsence. Exxon Mobil utilise Guard Gog security in the Southern Highlands, and do so with a joint venture with the Hides Security company, a local land owner company. I have never seen a member of a private security firm associated with Exxon Mobil carrying a weapon of any sort more than a baton.
    The state forces are well represented in the project area of the Southern Highlands currently by Mobile Squad 1 out of Port Moresby. Since their arrival in the project area, there has been a remarkable turnaround in the law and order situation. I believe that all PNG needs in terms of control of criminal activities, at least at a grass roots level is a sound police force and the provision of basic government services, both of which were abolutely non existant in the Southern Highlands before the arrival of the MS. Government services are still a joke. Policing is supplied by the MS with no input from the regular police. This is where the real danger to the LNG project comes from, not some fictitious private army dreamt up by a scaremonger.
    I am not making apologies for Exxon mobil, as much of their project managment is woefully poor, but the General is merely sensationalising and making up “facts” which are easily disproved.

  5. What complete rubbish. I used to work for G4S years ago, they are owned by major share funds and institutional investors. Tim Spicer couldn’t afford to buy half of one percent of their shares even if he wanted to. Jerry Singirok runs his own security company- hasn’t anyone got the brains to work out why he’s trying to stir up a fuss?
    Grow up, people.

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