I was recently in Buka. Public knowledge is that Bougainvilleans are preparing for the worst.
Yes, arms buildup is true and one of these preparations undertaken.
Biggest fear is about Bougainvilleans fighting among each other: those that wish to remain with PNG and others who wanted to be independent (break away).
It will piggy back on the crisis days divide – the PNG-backed resistance and BRA.
Hate and payback killing along these lines is ongoing as we approach the referendum dateline.
There is no real peace among these factions as yet as referendum is approaching.
Additionally, a clause in the peace agreement allows for the PNG Parliament to sanction the final outcome of referendum.
The extent to which and what magnitude the reactions will be cannot be ascertained. There is no National Intelligence Organisation (NIO) in PNG. New NIO director, Col Otto Pandum, has a huge task now to restore NIO to its glory days. PNG has lost control of a lot more of its institutions in the recent past – extractive industries, bureaucracy, health, etc – with no Intelligence.
We are a country operating without a brain, eye, nose, or without all five senses… it’s all gone.
It’s public knowledge.
PNG has no idea how Bougainville will react following the outcome of the referendum.
Cyril Gare, via email