‘Honour the blood that was spilled’

The Autonomous Region of Bougainville celebrated the 17th Anniversary of the formation of the Autonomous Bougainville Government on June 15th.

Celebrations were held in the three regional capitals in North Bougainville (Buka Town), Central Bougainville (Arawa Town) and South Bougainville (Buin Town).

Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama was in Arawa for the celebrations, where he paid tribute to former Bougainville leaders as well ex-combatants who fought in the Bougainville Civil War.

He said their sacrifice made possible the existence of the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the legal framework that preceded the ABG and allowed its creation.

“In the present, my government has finally positioned Bougainville ready to attain independence but doing so through the established legal process,” President Toroama said.

“However, this does not mean our people can suddenly become complacent. We all have a duty to Bougainville and to honour the blood that was spilled on our island to work with our government to achieve political independence.

“There are a lot of people who are fond of asking where the government is up to with its development priorities and independence readiness, but I turn to you and ask you, ‘Na yu nap weh’?”

On June 15th, 2005, the first Bougainville House of Representatives was sworn in with the Late Joseph Kabui as President, witnessed by then Prime Minister, the Late Great Grand Chief, Sir Michael Somare.

This gave birth to the autonomous arrangements that have since been in place on Bougainville.

Press Release