South Bougainville MP concerned

Deputy Opposition Leader and South Bougainville MP, Timothy Masiu, has raised concerns about the recent behaviour of the people of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

The South Bougainville MP said recent incidents of violence and anti-social activities throughout Bougainville are undoubtedly sending the wrong signal to PNG and the international community.

“In terms of some of the killings and some destruction of properties and the general law and order situation on Bougainville, I’m just so worried because referendum is approaching and yet the people have not seen the real value of referendum.”

Recently a killing in Buka sparked confrontation between two ethnic groups. There was also the destruction of a tower outside Loloho outside Arawa, carjacking in Buin, threats of violence in Siwai and the theft of important solar panels for PAPI lights at the Aropa airport in Kieta.

“And I’m appealing to the people of Bougainville to respect the desires of Bougainville people and also the spirit of the peace agreement, for the referendum to be conducted for the people to decide the future of Bougainville.”

June 15, 2019, is the target date for referendum for the Autonomous Region and Bougainville, where the people will make their choice, and Masiu said the people must put down their weapons.

“The ABG is doing all it can but the people continue to do things contrary to the spirit of the peace agreement. Osem na mi tokim yu mi gat bikpla wari tru lo wanem samting i wok lo kamap.” (That’s why I’m telling you, I am very worried about recent events.)

He also commended efforts made so far by the ABG in making Bougainville weapon free and Referendum ready.

Sally Pokiton