Category Archives: Autonomous Region of Bougainville

Court halts Panguna signing

A COURT has issued a restraining order to stop the signing of an agreement between landowners and the Autonomous Bougainville Government regarding the reopening of the Panguna mine.
Justice Ambeng Kandakasi issued the order at the Waigani National Court following an application filed by Philip Miriori, the chairman of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Incorporated (SMLOLI).
He ordered that the parties to the proposed memorandum of agreement for the redevelopment of the Panguna mine were “forthwith restrained from signing the agreement”.
“If in the event the agreement has already been signed, the parties to that agreement and any person wanting to implement it are forthwith restrained from doing so,” Kandakasi said.
The signing of the agreement would have paved the way for the Bougainville Copper Limited to start work on the mine’s reopening.
The agreement was to have been signed last Friday but was cancelled after women from the area protested.
The court also restrained Lawrence Daveona from acting as the chairman of SMLOLI. The matter will return to court on Friday.
Justice Kandakasi said the order would remain in force unless the parties to the agreement could produce evidence that they had obtained the consent of the more than 500 block holders.


Two Vehicles to Extend Bougainville Policing Services

Media Release – January 24, 2017

Australia has donated two vehicles to the Bougainville Police Service (BPS) to help extend the reach of law and justice services through North and South Bougainville.

Australian High Commission Counsellor Tim Bryson handed one vehicle over to Senior Sergeant John Popui and First Constable Lucy Nehemiah in Buin. A second vehicle was presented to Inspector Kingsley Lua at Buka Police Station.

The vehicles will be incorporated into the Royal PNG Constabulary fleet to serve prosecution and traffic operations in Buka, and the Family and Sexual Violence Unit in Buin.

“The donation of these vehicles is greatly appreciated,” said RPNGC Assistant Commissioner and Deputy Chief of the BPS, Joanne Clarkson.

“With transport, it will be easier for us to respond to reports of family and sexual violence, and to conduct awareness-raising activities.”

Mr Bryson said that Australia’s key objective in Bougainville, shared with the Government of Papua New Guinea, was stability, which enables economic growth.

“The improved delivery of policing and justice services, which these vehicles will support, is a key enabler of that stability,” said Mr Bryson.

In 2017, in line with the agreement of the PNG Government and Autonomous Bougainville Government, Australia will provide approximately K9 million to support the law and justice sector in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, including initiatives to improve community safety, address family and sexual violence, provide effective law and justice services and strengthen the Bougainville Police Service.

Yumi FM News

Momis on Referendum Readiness

The people of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville have a dream to create a new socio-economic political and moral order as they stand on the threshold of the Referendum.

ABG President Grand Chief Dr John Momis said that dream is within the reach of the people of Bougainville but they first have the responsibility to implement the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

“We are looking to develop our education and health facilities and develop other infrastructure on Bougainville but we must not overlook our responsibility and that is the implementation of the BPA through credible means,” Momis said.

“Undeniably, we have problems on Bougainville but we have also achieved a lot since the inception of the ABG; we now have the power to develop our own education policies, our health policies and others such as finance and mining,” he added.

President Momis said the problem the ABG faces was a lack of technical capacity to develop these powers and policies to.

But Momis is also very optimistic that Bougainville will thrive as the autonomous region moves into the future.

“Unity is the essence of our success and these problems are not impossible to overcome; our unity does not mean uniformity, it must be an all-inclusive engagement of all Bougainvilleans who must have a say on our political future come the referendum,” Momis said.

Momis added that Bougainville determining its future must also include a future for development.

Momis also cautioned that people must be realistic of their expectations of the outcome of the referendum.

“Everything depends on how hard we work to achieve a favourable outcome of the referendum; we cannot dream of the impossible while we remain complacent and not work hard for it,” he said.

“We must have faith and own the process of the referendum so that we can legitimately own the outcome that is credible and excepted by all Bougainvilleans and respected by the international community,” he said.

“I must remind you all that in today’s globalized community we must refrain from alienating ourselves international community such as the United Nations who will play an important role at the time of the referendum,” he said.

Momis further made a call to all Bougainvilleans not to deviate from the principles of the Bougainville Peace Agreement and to follow it as the guideline to achieving its ultimate political future.

Post-Courier Live Online February 19, 2017, 5.00 pm

NZ Foreign Minister Murray McCully to visit PNG, Solomon Islands

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully will travel to Papua New Guinea and Bougainville this week.

McCully will be in Port Moresby for meetings with political leaders about partnerships, economic development and maintaining political stability.

“Papua New Guinea is the largest Pacific Island country, a leader in the region, and an important partner for New Zealand,” Mr McCully says.

“I will be discussing New Zealand’s support for PNG’s hosting of APEC, its broader leadership role in the region, and our partnership to expand public access to energy.

“I will also visit the Autonomous Region of Bougainville to see New Zealand’s development assistance, including meeting New Zealand Police and Volunteer Service Abroad volunteers stationed there.

“It will also be an opportunity to discuss PNG’s upcoming General Election.”

In the Solomon Islands, Mr McCully will discuss New Zealand’s ongoing partnership with the country, particularly how to move it forward once the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands ends in June 2017.

“New Zealand has been a strong supporter of stability in the Solomon Islands through our contribution to RAMSI,” Mr McCully says. “New Zealand will continue to support its stability and economic development after RAMSI departs.

“Tourism is an important economic opportunity for the Solomon Islands, and my trip will include a visit to Western Province to discuss New Zealand’s support in this area.”

Post-Courier Online February 13, 2017, 2.30 am

Entity to monitor B’ville referendum

A NEUTRAL entity called the Bougainville Referendum Commission has been established to oversee the referendum of independence for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

The commission will ensure that the AROB is ready to conduct its referendum in 2019.
It takes over from the Electoral Commission and the Bougainville Electoral Commission.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato and Bougainville Electoral Commissioner George Mano yesterday signed the agreement in Port Moresby to transfer the function to the new commission.

Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari said the leaders of the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the national government would make sure that weapons disposal and good governance were achieved before there was a referendum. “The challenge is for the leaders of the Government and ABG to go into the communities to take ownership of many of the issues confronting us and go forward to achieve the referendum in 2019,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bougainville Electoral Commissioner George Mano was concerned about handing over the powers to the new commission.

“The two governments have to start appointing people to the board of the commission as soon as possible,” he said.
“As far as I know, there is no funding for the office. I hope funds from the 2017 Budget can be allocated to the office.

“This means that there is a risk that the commission will not become operational until 2018.
“This might jeopardise the target date for the referendum in 2019.”