Momis: Bougainville must be totally weapons free

Bougainville must be totally weapons free if it wants to meet the criterion of the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA), should the people wish to establish a separate political entity come the referendum.

There have been concerns by Bougainvilleans that the weapons should be kept as an insurance policy, particularly one shared by the hard-line secessionists who foresee the upsurge of another revolution should the national government fail to ratify the outcome of the referendum in their favour.

President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, John Momis on the other hand has reassured Bougainvilleans that to meet the requirements of the BPA people have to surrender the weapons still in their possession.

“Weapons disposal is one of the three pillars of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, the weapons still out there disqualifies us from achieving this very important requirement of the BPA.

“We do not need guns, what we need in Bougainville today is unity, unity is our most important asset today.

“There has to be unity amongst the factions on Bougainville, amongst the leaders and of course the people of Bougainville,” said Momis.

He added that Bougainville obviously has problems such as lack of capacity and the continuous financial hiccups caused by the national government’s refusal to fund the ABG, therefore, unity remains the paramount issue on Bougainville.

Momis explained that failure to achieve this important pillar of the BPA may have drastic repercussions on Bougainville as this will give the national government the opportunity to disallow the ratification of the outcome of the referendum based on the legal implications on the failure of disarmament on Bougainville.

Momis stands firm in reminding Bougainvilleans that the BPA is a legally binding contract that upholds the very essence of the ABG.

Momis has said that it is not only the national government’s approval on the outcome of the referendum that the Bougainville seeks but also garnering the support of the international community.


Troy Taule