The National, Tuesday February 4th, 2014
By ELIZABETH MIAE
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has advised state-owned enterprises to restore their services to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
It follows his three-day goodwill visit to the region last week.
Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investment Ben Micah and heads of the state-owned enterprises have indicated their saupport for Government’s intention to restore government services on Bougainville.
O’Neill described the visit as significant and important as it involved reconciliation and talks with the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the tribal Me’ekamui Government.
“The issue with Bougainville is that we’ve got many challenges,” he said.
“It’s easy to go and hold talks but more important is to maintain peace in the region.”
He said after the visit, the three governments were ready to work together.
He said previous governments and international development partners and donors found it difficult to work with the ABG and Me’ekamui government because of different factions.
“We are trying to bring services to Bougainville and I am calling on all SOEs to restore services,” O’Neill said.
“In three months’ time the Aropa airport will be re-opened and
contracts are ready for the sealing of the road from Kokapau to Arawa.”
O’Neill was at the Nature Park, in Port Moresby, on Sunday to thank the delegation that travelled with him to Bougainville.
Micah agreed that Bougainville now has a different attitude towards the Government following O’Neill’s visit to the region.
“It’s a story about a new chapter of history in PNG and Bougainville – achieving peace, unity and restoration,” Micah said.