The National – Wednesday, June 22, 2011
By STEPHANIE ELIZAH
BOUGAINVILLE President John Momis is appealing to all Bougainvilleans to work hard together to deliver the vision of the peace agreement.
Momis made the call following ongoing reports of conflicts in South Bougainville instigated by criminals.
He urged the people of Bougainville to work together to end the conflicts or face the risk of serious and widespread violence resuming in Bougainville.
“The problem of local conflict worries me deeply.
“I know that many who are involved have been damaged and traumatised by the many years of conflict since 1988,” he said.
“They use guns and violence to give themselves status and income because they have little or no education and so little chance of employment or business opportunities.”
He said while the Bougainville government could understand and sympathise with what had led the criminals to use guns, the Momis-led government would not allow them to continue their criminal activities.
“What they are doing has the potential to destroy what we have achieved so far through our peace process.
“It is vital that we end the conflict and dispose of the weapons.”
Momis challenged the young men and older leaders of the main groups that started the conflict in South Bougainville to put aside violence and weapons.
“I want to offer you the opportunities that would allow you employment or business activity.
“Right now, I am working with foreign governments and business organisations to set up advanced technical training opportunities in Bougainville,” he said.
Momis said he was willing to find places for members of those armed groups in the South to get training at places like Don Bosco in Port Moresby and the small scale mining college in Bulolo, Morobe.
He reiterated that through the powerful weapon of equitable economic development and with the support of
the national government and donor partners, Bougainville must end conflicts in the area and move towards achieving the vision of the peace agreement.