Buka islanders ready to take part in referendum

National

PEOPLE of Hagagohe on Buka Island held a ceremony on Sunday to declare that they are ready to take part in the referendum on June 15, 2019.
Leaders of the former warring parties and communities shook hands and apologised to the people for the rebellion in the 1990s which cost lives.
The event coincided with a mass reconciliation and a referendum-ready declaration signed by the community and factional leaders to show they were ready for the referendum.
Hagogohe MP Robert Hamal Sawa said the constituency was now free of any warring factions.
“We are united and we look forward to voting on Bougainville’s political future,” he said.
During the ceremony, two guns were put inside a brick container to show they wanted to get rid of all weapons.
Eight M16 rifles were also handed over in a ceremony about two weeks ago.
Both events were witnessed by officials from the Bougainville administration, police, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the United Nations.
Sawa said the ongoing peace efforts in his constituency was vital to build a strong society that fosters stable peace and security in his area.
Two constituencies which have declared ready for the referendum are Bolave in the Bana district of South Bougainville and Hagogohe in Buka of North Bougainville.

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