Ex-warring factions support peace move

National

The people of the Bolave Constituency in the Bana district of South Bougainville have shown that they were ready to take part in the 2019 referendum.
A ground-breaking mass reconciliation ceremony was held at the Buleuko Catholic parish last week between the former warring factions.
Former members of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) and the Bougainville resistance faction that aligned with the Papua New Guinea army in the Bougainville uprising came together in solidarity to demonstrate their support for peace and the June 15, 2019, referendum.
One weapon was handed over to local police as a signal of promise for the ongoing weapon disposal plans before 2019.
They also signed a joint commitment to further advocate solidarity and a peaceful society. The ceremony was attended by Bougainville Autonomous government ministers, Bougainville administration departmental heads, representatives of non-governmental organisations, ex-combatants and community leaders.
Minister for Bougainville Peace Agreement and Implementation Albert Punghau said Bougainville had achieved a notable milestone that required ongoing commitment by all Bougainvilleans.
He said some of the achievements were the setting up of the Bougainville Referendum Commission to manage the conduct of the 2019 referendum.
“I am happy with the commitments of the Papua New Guinea government to agree to the terms and conditions of the Bougainville Referendum Commission. It shows maturity of the two governments to honour the BPA.”

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