Autonomous Region of Bougainville

Weapons Disposal Secretariat sets out support

Members of the Joint Weapons Disposal Secretariat from the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government came together to commence the first formal meeting of the Joint Weapons Disposal Secretariat in Arawa on February 13th.

The way forward includes development of a process of verification of weapons disposal and inclusion of the Me’ekamui into the weapons disposal process through acceptance of a jointly accepted weapons disposal plan.

Copyright our traditional symbol: Locals

It is no secret that a lot of money has been made from selling merchandise with the Upe symbol, especially for both diplomatic and political purposes where it is on the flag and on Bougainville government letterheads.

The real owners of the symbol, the people of Wakunai, Central Bougainville, and Kunua/Keriaka North Bougainville are now calling on the Autonomous Bougainville Government to copyright the symbol for their benefit.

Bougainville geared for biggest Choc Fest

President Chief Dr John Momis will officially launch the two day Festival of activities and competitions at Hutjena Oval in Provincial capital Buka this Friday. 

This year’s festival activities include competitions for farmers, such as the Big Bean Competition and Big Pod Competition.

The highlight Chocolate competition has generated record levels of interest with farmers submitting their cocoa beans from as far as remote Nissan Island and Torokina in South Bougainville.

ARoB MPs commit to human rights protection

This commitment comes following a three-day workshop supported by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The workshop saw 38 parliamentarians, including the President, Vice President and eight Ministers, in attendance.

Discussions centred on sharing knowledge of the potential role of Parliaments in the promotion and protection of human rights, and provided the opportunity for participants to be updated about best practices of other parliaments throughout the world.

War veterans reconcile

This follows a major mass reconciliation ceremony held last Friday at the Christ the King - Hantoa Catholic Parish between ex-combatants, local chiefs and the community.

Hundreds of people gathered to witness the crucial event where former combatants of the Bougainville Conflict publicly apologised to the local chiefs for their part in joining rival factions during the 15 years of the Bougainville Conflict and causing sufferings and human rights violations in the communities.

Church leaders return from fact-finding mission

Organised with thanks to support from UN Women, the mission saw participants comprised of representatives from the PNG Council of Churches (PNGCC), government, civil society and research organisations visit Buka from 20-23 August.

Keys issues to be discussed in JSB

Following a first of its kind Joint Ministerial Dialogue between key ABG Ministers and their national government counterparts in Port Moresby early this month, progress has been made to ensure there is meaningful discussion and a more successful outcome at the upcoming special JSB.

ABG Minister for Peace Agreement Implementation, Albert Punghau, described the meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister, the Attorney General and the Minister for Bougainville Affairs, as fruitful.

Momis disappointed with statement

Chief Momis had to verify claims by a former member of parliament, Daniel Tulapi, about the constitutionality of the Bougainville Referendum.

Momis in a statement said it is disturbing that at the eleventh hour, after nearly 20 years since the signing of the Bougainville Peace Agreement by the National Government, a former National Government minister is now making absurd claims that the referendum is somehow unconstitutional.

Momis pleased with progress

His view follows the recent Joint Supervisory Body meeting held in Arawa. 

The meeting addressed concerns on funding, appointments of the Bougainville Referendum Commission including weapons disposal.

An agreed funding of K1.2 million that has been made available by both governments to kick start BRC operations will assist this exercise to happen immediately.

The BRC will be working closely with Village Ward Recorders with a goal of having a grassroots check on the accuracy of the roll.

Referendum: Criteria for non-B’ville residents

They have agreed on the criteria for non-Bougainville residents to take part in the Referendum.  

In the recent JSB meeting held in Arawa, both the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, under section 55, 1 of the Organic Law on Peace Building in Bougainville, agreed on two criteria to determine the links with Bougainville, that a non-resident Bougainvillean must have in order to vote at the Referendum.

The first criteria is that; the person is a Bougainvillean, as defined in section 7, 1 of the Bougainville Constitution.