The National aka The Loggers Times | May 19, 2017
FACTIONS of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army have signed an agreement to work together as the province looks ahead to the 2019 referendum.
Hundreds of people yesterday witnessed a reconciliation event at the Arawa Independence Oval in Buka.
The BRA factions signed a memorandum of joint commitment to work together toward the Bougainville referendum.
On Monday, a reconciliation ceremony was also held at the Roreinang United Church Mission ground. It was where the A company broke away from the rest of the army to form Me’ekamui in 1997.
On Tuesday, there was another reconciliation ceremony held in Panguna. The events were witnessed by officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the people of Bougainville.
ABG Minister for the Department of Peace Agreement and Implementation Albert Punghau said the unification of the BRA factions was vital for the region if it wanted to achieve the referendum.
Former BRA Chief of Defence Ishmael Toroama said it was a day to be united and to remember “loved ones we lost”.
“This is the day when the Government declared the state of emergency.
“Today we stand and remember our loved ones during the civil war in Bougainville.
“We remember that we fought to take care of our people and our resources,” Toroama said.
Tag Archives: BRA
The National aka The Loggers Times | May 19, 2017
Pacific Media Centre | November 23, 2016
The combined New Ireland chiefs in Papua New Guinea led by chief Demas Kavavu and political leaders including former National Alliance strongman, Pedi Anis, have welcomed the invitation for reconciliation from the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) commander, Sam Kauona, and his people of the Central Bougainville region with the former Prime Minister and now Governor of New Ireland, Sir Julius Chan.
But the move has been strongly criticised by the Bougainville Freedom Movement.
The chiefs rallied behind the Governor, Sir Julius, to support what they term as a courageous step for peace from the BRA Commander with the authority and authenticity being the first to meet with Sir Julius within three days of him assuming the Prime Ministership of Papua New Guinea in 1994 in Honiara during the height of the Bougainville conflict.
The late Bishop Gregory Singkai was with Sir Julius that made possible the face to face human dialogue between Sir Julius and Kauona, whom Sir Julius described as courteous and very respectful in the face of great adversity.
Kauona in a news release in The National newspaper last Thursday broke his long silence as a prominent figure in the 16 year-long Bougainville conflict and declared his political allegiance to the People’s Progress Party and its founder Sir Julius.
He cited his involvement in brokering peace talks that culminated in the moving reconciliation ceremony in Kavieng between the late President Joseph Kabui on behalf of the people of Bougainville and Sir Julius on behalf of New Ireland.
Kauona said Sir Julius showed the way to address issues and although he participated in reconciliations in Buka and Kavieng he and the PPP should reconcile with the people of Central Bougainville because it was the nerve centre of the conflict.
New Ireland held Peace and Reconciliation consultation with President Joseph Kabui and was the only Province that sent an official government delegation to attend Kabui’s funeral and later reciprocated with the second Peace and Reconciliation with the Acting President, James Tanis, in Buka.
Responding to Kauona’s press release, Governor Sir Julius said from his home in Huris that he had kept close and friendly ties with the people of Bougainville through their President John Momis.
He was very encouraged by Kauona’s comments and awaited the opportunity to strengthen friendship with him and people of Central Bougainville.
“I have no qualms, no grudges, no ill-will against anyone in Bougainville as we are partly one heritage, one genesis and I thank Kauona for his straight talk and welcome him to visit and strengthen ties with New Ireland,” said Sir Julius.
“We need to eradicate all misunderstanding to hand a peaceful solid baton to the young generation for our two Provinces,” he said.
The Bougainville Freedom Movement said in a statement:
“Considering that Sir Julius Chan says he has no regrets over his handling of the Sandline mercenary affair, to kill, maim and murder the people of Bougainville, it is very difficult to understand why the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) Commander, Sam Kauona has declared his political allegiance to the People’s Progress Party and its founder Sir Julius Chan.
“The power of the people in Papua New Guinea (PNG), prompted Jerry Singirok, the General of the PNG Defence Forces to stop the hired killers of Sandline mercenaries by taking them hostage in 1997. This is what stopped the war on Bougainville and allowed peace to prevail.
“It also led to the downfall of Sir Julius Chan and his government.
“This year in March 2016, Sir Julius Chan released his autobiography and still says that if he had been allowed to continue with the Sandline mercenary operation to put down the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) and the people of Bougainville in 1997, he would have been able to bring the island of Bougainville under control.
“So now in November 2016, it seems Sir Julius Chan has the General Commander of the BRA under control, like a wish come true.”
Responding to the Bougainville Health Minister’s call for more help to be given to those traumatised by the conflict, Rio Tinto Lobby group European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper claims BRA combatants must be brought to justice [see below]. Turning the tables on those critics who suggest Rio Tinto should be tried for war crimes, the ESBC has suggested ‘bloodthirsty’ Bougainvillean warlords are to blame…
Those traumatised by Bougainville civil war need help, says Minister
The health minister of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, says mental health specialists are needed in the autonomous region to help meet the needs of those still traumatised by the civil war.
Rose Pihei says social disorder in Bougainville is mostly connected to the trauma people went through during the crisis more than a decade ago, but that trauma has never been dealt with and is becoming a generational issue.
The minister says there is very little being done to address the issue, and only one organisation in the whole Bougainville region has the skills to treat mental health issues.
“It’s becoming a real burden on that organisation, and that’s why we will be needing specialist doctors to come in and aid us help, very little attention has been given to the whole region concerning mental health.”
Rose Pihei says she wants trauma and metal health issues to be key issues that both the national government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government work to combat.
ESBC comments: It would be an important step to help traumatised Bougainvilleans if all those bloodthirsty warlords who slaughtered hundreds of peace loving Bougainvilleans during the crises were finally brought to justice. Those former combattants of Me’ekaumui, BRA etc. still terrorise the people of Bougainville. They deliberately boycott the peace process as they refuse to render their weapons as claimed in the weapon disposal program.