​Momis congratulates O’Neill

President John Momis of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville has formally written to the Prime Minister to congratulate him on his re-appointment.

In his letter, President Momis emphasised the need for continued cooperation and for both governments to work together to jointly address challenges. 

His letter emphasised the need for continued close engagement in relation to the forthcoming referendum, and the importance of ensuring that autonomy arrangements work effectively.

“The formation of the tenth Parliament of Papua New Guinea will play an important role in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville’s drive towards self-determination,” Momis told PM Peter O’Neill.

“Bougainville’s referendum will be held during the term of this current parliament and it is vitally important that preparation are undertaken to ensure that both the National Government and Autonomous Bougainville Government are ready to face the task ahead.

“It is equally important that Bougainville’s autonomy arrangements operate effectively as intended by the PNG Constitution.

“Amongst other things, this will be essential if Bougainvilleans are to have a real alternative to independence to consider when the referendum is held.”

President Momis also outlined several concerns of the ABG that should be addressed. These include outstanding funding from the Restoration and Development Grant that are needed for the autonomy arrangements to function, and he has requested the intervention of O’Neill on the issue.

Another issue that President Momis highlighted was the reconvening of the Joint Supervisory Body meeting as soon as possible.

The last JSB meeting was supposed to happen in March of this year but it was deferred as the national government was preparing for the general elections.

Prior to the JSB meeting, the Governor-General is expected to sign the Charter to establish the Bougainville Referendum Commission; officers from the two governments have been developing the draft Charter for some months now.

President Momis revealed that the ABG has already given attention to the question of the persons that it will be nominate as members of the commission and hopes that the national government side will also make its nomination by the time the JSB meets.

Another prominent issue that President Momis hopes the Prime Minister will pay regard to is Bougainville Copper Limited shares divested by BCL to the national government in July 2016.

President Momis said he was looking forward to working closely with the PM and his ministers to implement the Bougainville Peace Agreement and ensure that the people of Bougainville exercise their right to self-determination.

(Loop file pic)

Press release