New president calls for unity

The time of differences and putting up blockades is over.

Bougainville’s new President, Ishmael Toroama, is calling for unity.

Toroama, a former combatant and peace advocate, was declared president-elect on September 23rd after the 23rd elimination.

The former commander of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army is a signatory to the Bougainville Peace Agreement and a driving force behind the weapons disposal pillar under the agreement.

He dreams of a peaceful and secure Bougainville. And following his swearing-in ceremony on Friday, the 25th of September, the fourth ABG President called for unity, specifically calling out to the people of Konnou and Tonu in South Bougainville.

“Konnou is just like a liklik heiven weh em wok lo bridim a challenge for the government of Bougainville,” Toroama said. “I gat ol respected lain i stap, mi laik just pleisim toktok i go long ol na ol sapotas blo ol i stap lo Buka lo Solos – even i stap lo Sentral Tinputz – olgeta hap lo Bougainville that mi laik yumi wok wantaim.

Taim blo difrenshietim, o putim blok namel long mipla, em pinis. Ating em i taim yumi kam bek na yumi kirapim Bougainville. I mean, we have fought, we had made peace, nau yumi sanapim gavman.

“Together, we can still make a difference inside long taim yumi wok wantaim. Ol toktok pait i go nambaut em, lo mi, it’s childish. We’re more mature. Even the leadership of Bougainville has become more mature.”

The president emphasised that only through working together can Bougainvilleans enjoy peace, harmony and stability.

He said during his term, he will use Psalms 112 verse 10 as his scepter. The scripture says “The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish”.

Carmella Gware