PM wants B’ville reconciliation

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PRIME Minister James Marape says there needs to be a national reconciliation ceremony between the Government and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville people.
He urged the PNG National Council of Churches and the Bougainville Council of Churches to take the lead in the national reconciliation process.
“We must also agree and ensure there is a heart to heart reconciliation process.
We can’t take for granted our people’s goodwill. People have given us their goodwill for leaders to work with.
“I am suggesting a church-led reconciliation process,’’ Marape said.
He urged leaders to ensure there was safety and security not only on Bougainville but in PNG as well.
“Internal security is our number one priority. There are guns and weapons among us and we need to ensure the weapons are disposed of” he said.
“The Bougainville Peace Agreement speaks of weapons to be disposed of so that the people can hold the referendum without any form of threat.
“Our Government intends to look into the issue of weapons in its totality. Weapons disposal has been one of the key fundamental pillars of the peace agreement.”
Marape told the Joint Supervisory Body meeting on Buka Island yesterday that the Government would support the wishes and aspirations of the people of Bougainville in determining their political future through the referendum.
“With 70 days remaining (to the referendum), we have to affirm our combined efforts on the outcomes as per the Bougainville Peace Agreement,” he said.
“We will ensure that every arrangement is in place and our national government is fully committed within the constraints of our resource envelope and ability to help Bougainville.
“We are giving you the fullest support and that there is no impediment along the way.”
Marape said the meeting on Buka was important to ensure that everything that needed to be done was done to ensure the outcome of the Bougainville referendum was successful and satisfactory.

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