Bougainville Peace Agreement

Peace by peaceful means

Now that the people of Bougainville have voted in a referendum on their political future, many have questioned why Bougainvilleans voted in a referendum and others questioned why there was a referendum at all.

PM: B’ville Peace Process A Priority

He said this when addressing over 100 heads of state at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 76) held in New York recently.

Prime Minister Marape informed world leaders that following the referendum in 2019, the PNG Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government have held the Second Post-Referendum Consultation and the Joint Supervisory Board three months ago, where several important decisions to move the peace process forward were agreed.

 

Govts reaffirm Bougainville commitment

In furthering the Bougainville peace process in the Post Referendum period, Prime Minister James Marape and President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Ishmael Toroama, signed a joint communique on Monday, January 11th, at the Sir Manasupe Haus in Port Moresby.

The governments said the signing of the joint communique signals their intention to immediately commence the joint consultations as is required by the National Constitution under Section 342 (1) and the Bougainville Peace Agreement under Clause 311 (b).

Pledge against arms

It was signed in Vunapope, Kokopo, on Wednesday (Nov 6), upholding Melanesian cultural values and practices of brotherhood to sincerely declare they truly resort to reconcile with each other for the atrocities caused during the 1989 to 1997 Bougainville Crisis.

The parties pledged their commitment with collective responsibilities to implement the Bougainville Peace Agreement, affirming dual commitment to protecting the state and the freedom and rights of citizens.

Referendum info via mobile phones

The Autonomous Bougainville Government is set to trial a new mobile phone awareness platform to provide people up to date information on the referendum and Peace Agreement.

For eight weeks starting September 22nd, Digicel users across Bougainville will receive an automated call from the ABG BPA Hotline with a recorded message from the ABG President, Chief Dr John Momis.

A number will then be provided for people to call and hear pre-recorded audio messages – and it is free.

Momis welcomes review experts

“We welcome the valuable contribution that these experts will make for progressing the joint implementation of autonomy arrangements as per the Bougainville Peace Agreement,” President Momis said.

He assured people that the purpose of the review was not to change any part of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

“The five yearly review of autonomy arrangements is simply a requirement of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

Time is of the essence

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his Ministers met with the Autonomous Region of Bougainville President, Chief John Momis, on Friday seeking more ways forward to fulfil the three pillars of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, of Autonomy, Weapons Disposal and a Referendum on Bougainville’s political status.          

O’Neill arrived just before lunch (BST) at Aropa Aiport, Kieta, in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Weapons free Bougainville

This commitment was made possible through the Former Combatants Intensive Peace Building Training held last month, which was facilitated by the ABG’s Department of Bougainville Peace Agreement’s Veterans Affairs Directorate.

The consensus reached during the training focuses on peace building, weapons disposal, reconciliation, the referendum, rehabilitation and reintegration of former combatants and collaborative peace building and partnership.

​More resources needed for referendum: Lera

Bougainville’s Regional Member, Joe Lera, says to prepare and to fulfil the three conditions of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, the government and all leaders concerned must unite and work with the people.

He appreciates the new structure of the community governments by the Autonomous Bougainville Government and says this is the way forward for Bougainville.

“For decades we have overseen the potential and contributions that our community leaders can make towards the building of our province and country as a whole,” said Lera.

VIDEO: Dumarinu Commits to Peace Agreement

Utmost importance will be given to Bougainville autonomy and constitutionally guaranteed referendum on Bougainville's political future.

 

Carolyn Ure with more