ABG focuses on peaceful referendum

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THE Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) remains focused on uniting all Bougainvilleans to deliver a conducive environment for a peaceful referendum on their future political status.
ABG president Dr John Momis reiterated his government’s commitment to consensus, consultation and unity following public concerns raised over a 60 Minutes (Australian current affairs show) episode aired over the weekend with a segment on Bougainville.
Momis said the comments made in the programme by Sam Kauona were misleading and did not represent the interest of government policies or greater Bougainville.
“The government’s interest lie in representing the interests of all Bougainvilleans,” Momis said.
“We have drawn a line under all discussions regarding the Panguna mine until after the referendum.
“The ABG is the only legitimate and mandated authority to engage with any potential external partners and there will be no backdoor deals,” he said.
Momis said ABG would continue to put the best interests of the people above all else, and all major decision-making would continue to be done in a democratic and consultative manner between the government and the people.
Momis also called on the external media to be sensitive in their reporting on Bougainville during the critical period.
“We are all committed to a peaceful resolution of the past. While media plays an important role in this process, in a post-conflict environment I caution for sensitive and balanced reporting to avoid any public misinformation,” he said.
Momis urged people to remain focused on the referendum and to work together with the government and the Bougainville Referendum Commission to ensure a credible and safe referendum was delivered.
“Bougainvilleans, we now have the rare opportunity to create something new. Let us stand strong and united in our beliefs and aspirations and show to the world that we are a peaceful people who can deliver a peaceful and credible referendum.”