Islanders bury the hatchet

National, Normal

By SONIA KENU DWU Journalism Student

NISSAN and Ieta people in Bougainville Autonomous Region reconciled yesterday which attracted a huge turnoutfrom the surrounding communities who came to witness the ceremony.
Nissan representative Henry Taol acknowledged the presence of mothers, children and the chiefs of Ieta and Nissan in the reconciliation ceremony.
At the same time, he thanked the Bougainville government for funding the peace process on the island, which this was part of.
After performances of rituals, Augustine Paupau came forward and gave his apologies to the people of Ieta and at the same time asked for their forgiveness.
Ieta chief John Nalei accepted Mr Paupau’s apology on behalf of his people.
“You are forgiven and I can say this with confidence,” Mr Nalei said.
“As mothers, we are happy with our children to be here because we have a big part in this peace process here in Bougainville,” Theresa Tohian said on behalf of the women and children of Nissan.
Mrs Tohian urged the people of Bougainville to commit themselves to the peace process despite the varying challenges they faced.
Amato Sahoto, representative of the peace and reconciliation office in Bougainville, said that it was hard to ask for forgiveness and expect to be forgiven on the spot.
“Reconciliation is an ongoing process,” he said.