Soldiers recover remains of B’ville MIA trio

National, Normal


THE remains of three PNGDF soldiers who were reported missing in action (MIA) during the Bougainville crisis have been recovered.
Defence Minister Bob Dadae revealed the findings to reporters in Port Moresby yesterday.
He said the remains of Cpl Horace Maino, Pte Jimmy Jula and Pte Raymond Waia of Alpha Company, 1RPIR, were identified with the assistance and expertise from the Australian Defence Force’s unrecovered war casualties army (UWC-A) forensic team.
In early 2006, PNGDF was informed of the remains of the three MIA soldiers in North Bougainville may have been found.
According to the press statement, in late 2009, the PNGDF started negotiating with the Autonomous Region of Bougainville Government (ARB) representatives and former combatants (Bougainville Revolutionary Army) to establish the whereabouts of the remains and to commence the identification process.
Following the request, a UWC-A investigator conducted interviews with family members and PNGDF witnesses on Sept 7 and custodians in Buka on Sept 9. 
On Sept 26, the forensic team examined two sets of remains described as “Kunua One” and “Kunua Two” at the district administration building in Kunua, Central Bougainville.
The third set of remains “Kunua Three” was later examined at the Buka Hospital mortuary in Buka.
Bob Dadae thanked the efforts of PNGDF by the head of the Australian Defence staff in PNG, Col Mark Sheppard and the Australian Defence Force, UWC-A and forensic team.
He said it was the PNGDF’s duty to return the remains to their families for closure.
Meanwhile, a final survey report on the retirement benefits of soldiers was also handed today to Brig-Gen Francis Agwi, to determine their entitlement payout.