Island communities reconcile

National

A RECONCILIATION ceremony has been held in a community in South Bougainville, bringing together perpetrators and victims of the uprising more than 20 years ago.
It was part of the Bougainville’s referendum preparation in the 33 constituencies which was now focused on raising awareness.
The awareness is on educating the people on the referendum issues, reconciliation initiatives, and the weapons disposal programme for the former combatants. The reconciliation ceremony was held in Motuna, among the Huyono Tokunutui people.
Albert Punghau, the constituency MP and the ABG Minister for Bougainville Peace Agreement and Implementation, said: “I am happy today that you have decided to reconcile. When you have opened up your hearts, our journey is hopeful of reaching our destination in achieving our independence.
“As we pay tribute to those who died in our struggle, we are also privileged to build our nation of Bougainville.
“The 20,000 lives have died for a worthy cause — and that cause is the future of an independent, prosperous Bougainville.”
Siwai district has a number of reconciliation exercises to be held, including between the BRA’s Thomas Tariis’ faction and the U-Vistract-linked Mekamui faction in Tonu, the Kieta BRAs and Kaparo over the alleged killing of Anthony Anugu in 1990, the Buins’ Konte BRA faction and Ruhaku faction, and other family disputes.

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