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PNG rebel soldiers hand over weapons

(Xinhua)

14:34, January 30, 2012

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Rebel soldiers in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have surrendered their weapons to the nation's Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported on Monday.

Namah has declared that all the soldiers involved in the recent failed mutiny in PNG will be given general amnesty.

After a parade at Taurama Barracks, on the outskirts of the nation's capital city Port Moresby, Namah told the 200 soldiers that he would push Prime Minister Peter O'Neill's cabinet to grant those who were involved in the mutiny amnesty on Monday afternoon, according to the AAP reports.

"I have directed my advisers to prepare the instruments and I will bring them to cabinet today," Namah said.

"There is only one government in Papua New Guinea - the O'Neill- Namah government," he told the soldiers.

About 30 of the 200 soldiers were believed to be involved in the mutiny last week when Brigadier-General Francis Agwi was under house arrest.

The brigadier was released by the end of the day.

The leader of the attempted military mutiny former colonel Yaura Sasa was arrested in the suburb of Boroko on Saturday night and has since been charged with mutiny.

The ongoing political crisis in PNG started in mid-December, when the Supreme Court reinstated Sir Michael Somare and his minority government.

Following a long legal battle, O'Neill and his government changed the law to make Somare ineligible for the position of leader.

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