Bougainville Update - 24/4/96

Sasha Baer sashab at wr.com.au
Wed Apr 24 15:51:51 MDT 1996


Radio Australia 0800z 23/4/96 6020kHz
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Papua New Guinea Security Forces have lifted their blockade of the
secessionist island of Bougainville following intervention by the Prime
Minister Sir Julius Chan. The blockade was declared last week but Sir Julius
declared it to be illegal because Bougainville is not in a state of
emergency. He has directed the acting Defence Force Commander to revoke the
order and reprimand the officer responsible for issuing it.

The Prime Ministers intervention came as the news reached Port Moresby that
a Papua New Guinea soldier had been killed on Bougainville. This is the
first casualty suffered by the Security Forces since the cease-fire on the
island was lifted last month. The incident occurred at Sipa Village (phon?)
near Kieta. Sources on Bougainville say the circumstances of the soldiers
death are unclear but elements of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army are
believed to have been involved.

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Radio New Zealand 0800z 23/4/96 6100kHz
=======================================

A Papua New Guinea soldier has been killed at Sipa Village (phon?) near
Kieta in Central Bougainville. This is the first Security Force's casualty
since the cease-fire on the island was lifted last month. Bougainville
sources say circumstances surround the killing are not clear but it appears
to have been carried out with Bougainville Revolutionary Army involvement.

Meanwhile no official communique has been issued by Security Forces about
the restrictions imposed last week despite Sir Julius Chan saying they were
illegal. Shops in Buka have been struggling since the restrictions were
imposed because fewer people have been crossing over to Buka from the mainland.

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Radio New Zealand 0800z 23/4/96 6100kHz
=======================================

The New Zealand Opposition Alliance Party says both New Zealand and
Australia should adopt a pro-active role in advancing the peace process on
Bougainville. An Alliance spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Keith Locke
(phon?) says there is a risk of the PNG Armed Forces acting out of control.

KL: "Yes I think New Zealand and Australia should work very much in tandem
on this, it is good that Australia has taken two initiatives, one to refuse
to send military assistance to PNG to help with the escalation of the
fighting and also to ask the party's to get back to the negotiating table.
New Zealand should work very closely with Australia in trying to get the PNG
government to see sense on this. Hopefully this latest incident by the
military is getting out of control will make the PNG government and Sir
Julius Chan see that they to have an interest in restraining the military,
restraining the escalation of the military action on Bougainville."

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Radio Australia 0700z 24/4/96 9860kHz
=====================================

The Solomon Islands Public Employees Union has asked the Trades Disputes
Commission to determine if its members serving in the border region with
Papua New Guinea are entitled to danger money.

The Union's General Secretary Kennett Warura (phon?) says Police services
serving on the border receive a danger allowance of $17 a day. However he
says customs, immigration and quarantine officials receive no additional pay
although they are just as vulnerable to danger as a result of spill-over
>from the secessionist rebellion on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville.

Mr Warura (phon?) says the Union has been seeking danger money for officials
in the border region since the rebellion broke out 7 years ago.

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Radio New Zealand 0800z 24/4/96 6100kHz
=======================================

New Zealands Opposition Labour Party spokesman on Pacific Island Affairs
says the Bougainville Crisis must eventually be solved through holding a
referendum. Totao Philip Fields (phon?) was responding to calls by another
opposition party, the Alliance for New Zealand and Australia to play a more
active role in helping bring an end to the civil conflict on the Papua New
Guinean island. Mr Field says the crisis  is of concern to the South Pacific
Forum Nations but it must be resolved by the Bougainvilleans themselves.

TF: "The Forum should be used as a way of coming up with a strategy to deal
with the situation in Bougainville and I think that some form of a
referendum in terms of the feelings of the local people on Bougainville
needs to be looked at as determining, a self-determination by way of
allowing the people to speak as to where they want to stand, either
self-determination or if they continue as part of Papua New Guinea and I
think that is the decision by the local people, that at the end of the day
people will have to respect."

New Zealands Opposition Labour Party's spokesman on Pacific Island Affairs,
Totao Philip Fields (phon?).

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Contact Details:
================

Vikki John (BFM)     +61-2-558-2730   email: V.john at uts.edu.au
Moses Havini (BIG)   +61-2-804-7602
Max Watts            +61-2-818-2343   email: MWATTS at fisher.biz.usyd.edu.au
(Journalist specialising in Bougainville, East Timor and West Papua issues)

Bougainville Freedom Movement
P.O. Box 134, Erskineville, NSW 2043, Australia

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Regards Sasha

Sasha Baer
International Amateur Radio Network
Bougainville Freedom Movement
Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol
Voicemail: +61-2-513-5614
sashab at wr.com.au
http://www.wr.com.au/sashab/



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