Bougainville Update - 12/8/96

Sasha Baer sashab at
Sun Aug 11 09:31:55 MDT 1996

Bougainville Interim Government

Media Release No.205 - Sunday 12 August, 1996

PNG Defence Force deadly use of poisonous phosphorus bombs on Bougainville
causes rise of new diseases and sickness on ordinary Bougainville civilian
population, kill farm animals, poison vegetable gardens, rivers and creeks.

BOUGAINVILLE : Urgent and alarming reports just received from Bougainville
said that some of the  villages in South and Central Bougainville, where
they were targeted by the PNGDF with white and phosphorous bombs during the
recent PNGDF military operation, have been badly affected.

The following villages starting from Wisai ( South B'ville) to Potulai
(Central B'ville), the normal flight path of Australian-supplied Iroquois
helicopters, during the launch of the now defeated "Operation High Speed 2",
>from June 21 1996, have lost farm and domestic animals. Vegetable gardens
and river systems have also been poisoned by the bombs; and a new surge in
treatable ailments and sicknesses (but in the absence of medical drugs) now
on the rise, have totally crippled some of the village communities in Free

In the mountainous area of Wakunai, 50 km north of Kieta and Arawa one man
reported loosing 16 chickens while two others reported loosing 4 and 2
respectively. While most of the bombings were concentrated around the
Panguna Copper Mine region in Central Bougainville, the reports from the
Wakunai highlands said the poisonous gas was blown north by wind and weather
into their area.

The civilians in Central and South Bougainville have reported a rise in ;
diarrhoea, runny nose, respiratory illnesses, mumps, dizziness, sore eyes
and blown out skin rashes and itchiness.

Eye witnesses in some of the villages said that consistently as from the
15-20 July, 1996, Iroquois helicopters were discharging the white
phosphorous bombs or white bombs in two ways. Firstly the helicopter fired
and launched the bomb, and in a few seconds later burst and went down to the
ground. The second method the people saw was that the white smoke was coming
directly from under the helicopter.

Speaking very angrily from Bougainville BRA Commander Sam Kauona was furious
about the firing of chemical bombs onto innocent civilians. He condemned in
the strongest of terms the use of white phosphorous poisonous bombs against
innocent women, men and children, and said the PNGDF were cowards attacking
unarmed civilians.

"This kind of attitude had happened in Germany and even in Vietnam when they
were clearly loosing the war. I am calling on the United Nations and the
international community to condemn Papua New Guinea using chemical bombs
against the people of Bougainville. It is genocide and biological warfare on
unarmed civilians. I am also challenging the Papua New Guinea Government to
allow international human rights bodies and the media to come into
Bougainville, and prove whether we are telling lies or not to the world",
said Kauona from Bougainville.

BRA Commander Sam Kauona also revealed that the BRA are in possession of two
types of  bombs seized from the PNGDF base at Koromira Catholic Mission,
during the PNGDF military  " Operation High Speed 2", in early July 1996.


Contact Details:

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

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


Regards Sasha

Sasha Baer
International Amateur Radio Network
Bougainville Freedom Movement
Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol
Work:      +61-2-200-1516
sashab at

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