Bouganville Update for Interested Persons

Vikki John VIKKI at lexsun.law.uts.edu.au
Fri Oct 11 14:47:37 MDT 1996


WOMEN SPEAK OUT ON BOUGAINVILLE - National Forum

Three women have arrived from different regions of Bougainville to attend a
 Women's Forum on Bougainville in Sydney to talk about their humanitarian
 work and women's self-help organisations.  The Forum will provide a platform
 for women from all perspectives to share their experiences, hopes and
 aspirations for Bougainville.

`Women Speak Out on Bougainville' is to be held in Sydney on
Saturday, 12 October at the University of Technology, Sydney.

The Bougainvillean women and other speakers at the Forum will include
 Senator Dee Margetts (WA Greens), Ellen Whelan (Pacific News Bulletin),
Lee Rhiannon (Aidwatch) and Joy Balazo (Uniting Church Human Rights).

The Forum has been organised by:
Women for Bougainville, PO Box 412, Neutral Bay NSW 2089


BOUGAINVILLE INTERIM GOVERNMENT - Media Release 6/10/96

The Papua New Guinea Security Force Prisoners of War, now in
Central Bougainville;
 John Momis mis-informs Papua New Guinea re BRA solidarity.

BOUGAINVILLE:  In a direct telephone message received from Bougainville
 today, Sunday 6 October, 1996 at 3.30pm, BRA Commander General
 Sam Kauona said that the PNGDF  Prisoners of War (POW) captured
 during the Kangu beach battle, Buin, Bougainville on 8 September, 1996
 are now in Central Bougainville. The PNGDF lost 13 members during this
fighting.

The attack on the PNGDF camp at Kangu beach on 8 September, 1996,
 was the result of the PNG soldiers attacking and wounding three (3) children
 who were returning from their bush garden and more killings of civilians
 prior to that.

The three badly wounded children were immediately taken across to the
 Solomon Islands where urgent surgery was performed and are now
 recovering from their gun wounds.  Two of the names released from
the Solomons are Huhu aged 16 years and Tondy aged 10 years from Buin.

What also further angered the BRA was news getting back to the BRA forces
that the PNGDF soldiers (supposedly guarding and looking after the civilians),
 were actually mistreating the people and having free sex with women and
 young girls at the Kangu care centre, most of the time under duress at gun point.

"The PNG security force POWs are now in Central Bougainville, to show the
 Chan Government that the BRA forces are not divided.  Recent statements
made by both Mr John Momis and General Jerry Singirok that the
BRA Southern Command was not under my command was just wishful thinking.  The BRA forces are not split, and the statement that the Bougainville Southern Command is going to initiate any separate peace talks and negotiations with Port Moresby is simply

The Bougainville struggle is deeply rooted in all Bougainvilleans, with a long
 history of colonial exploitation and Papua New Guinea is only the latest of
these exploiters.  This is something that all Bougainvilleans cannot forget,
 no matter how long or how hard Papua New Guinea tries to press for
 Bougainville to remain a part of the PNG political entity".

"My conditions for the release of the POWs still stand and it is now up to
 Prime Minister Chan to ensure that these men can be released safely back
 to their families.  Time is now running desperately short".

"We were quite prepared to be generous with the last two PNGDF POWs
 (a Sergeant and a Corporal "allowed" back to their lines), but that's no longer
 the case.  Prime Minister Chan, you have just as much responsibility for
the lives of these men as I have", concluded General Sam Kauona from Bougainville.

In the meantime the BRA forces have confirmed that there was fighting between
 the PNGDF and the BRA within the last 24 hours.  The fighting took place
 at Kuneka, South west of the Panguna copper mine in Central Bougainville.
 The BRA lost 3 of their soldiers while the 2 PNGDF were killed and
 5 wounded by the BRA forces.  END.

VICTIMS OF BOUGAINVILLE CRISIS
Solomon Star (SI), Friday 4 October,1996

PNG soldiers shooting and wounding of 3 Bougainville children;
shooting and killings of a couple more civilian before 8th September 1996 battle,
 triggered off the Kangu beach fighting where 13 PNG Security force members
were lost to BRA forces.

3 Children Hospitalised With Bullet Wounds.

Three children who were allegedly shot at by Papua New Guinea defence forces
were admitted to Central Hospital surgical ward Saturday last week.

The children sustained gunshot wounds early this month while returning from
 their bush garden said a Bougainvillean John Noukui who accompanied them
 to Honiara.

He said the Kangu beach massacre apparently came about because of that
shooting incident and a couple of killings by the PNG Defence Force.

The youngest of the three victims is only 10 years old.
Noukui said they were transported to Gizo by BRA on a motorised boat
 and flown to Honiara by Red Cross.

Situation on Bougainville has become tense following the Kangu beach incident
 he said.

Meanwhile, the deadline pronounced by BRA commander Sam Kauona for
 PNG government to make a response to their two demands lapsed yesterday.

BRA had demanded that PNG withdraw its troops and also recognise
Bougainville's right to independence.

Kauona said they would execute one of the captured prisoners of war unless
 they get a positive response from the PNG government by yesterday.

But in his recent statement to the United Nations, PNG Prime Minister
Sir Julius Chan said his government will not allow national sovereignty to be
 comprised.

"My government is firmly committed to do all that we can to resolve the
crisis even though a small minority of militants has broken successive
 agreements," he said.

Sir Julius added that despite the worst efforts of the Bougainville Revolutionary
 Army, including the barbaric attack that led to the death of twelve members
 of twelve members of the defence forces at the Kangu Care Centre,
his government are standing firm.

"We will not give them or the sympathisers abroad the satisfaction of departing
 from our basic objective of restoring peace and rebuilding all they have
destroyed," Sir Julius said.

He called on all other states to refrain from statements and actions that sends
misleading signals to those who violate their laws to co-operate in preventing
 smuggling and other illegal violations of their borders.

"In doing so we add the reminder that it is not the foreign meddlers who will
 suffer most from the effects of the crisis but the people of Papua
New Guinea, including the overwhelming majority of Bougainvilleans who
consider themselves to be part of our nation and entitled to the same rights as
 all other Papua New Guineans," Sir Julius said.   END

CLOSE CARE CENTRES ON BOUGAINVILLE, URGES MOMIS
The National (PNG), 7 October, 1996

Port Moresby:  A majority of people in Bougainville want the government-
controlled care centres closed down and villagers be allowed to return to their
homes, Bougainville MP John Momis has said.

He said the people also wanted all parties involved in the Bougainville crisis
 to forget the past and forgive one another.  The government must also speed up
 the process of restoring essential services including health, education and road
infrastructure, he said.

Mr Momis said the government must let people return to their villages to allow
 for peaceful resolution of the Bougainville crisis.

"The government and the political leaders must respect the constitutional rights
 of the people," Mr Momis said at a news conference here last Friday on arrival
 from Bougainville after holding talks with the rebel leaders over the release of
five members of security forces held hostage by the rebels.

He said: "The people must also respect the government's right to exist.
No society can operate without law and order."

Mr Momis said the general feeling in most parts of Bougainville was that the
 government must close down the care centres and allow the people to return to
 their villages and start growing food for themselves.

"The people are starving in the care centres and have made this genuine request
 for the government to let the people return to their villages while restoration of
 services are speeded up," he stressed.

Mr Momis said: "The government, rebels, resistance fighters, security forces and
the people must realise that we cannot continue to distrust one another and live
 in fear of each other."

"Fear is an impediment to the whole process.  We must forget the past and
forgive each other.  We must stop pointing fingers and accusing each other for
 what has happened earlier," he said.

Mr Momis said he was confident of the Bougainville problem being resolved
 through understanding and forgiveness for the long-term good of all the parties
 involved.

He said the parties involved did not need to be reminded of the loss of lives and
 destruction to property caused by the conflict.  END.

BOUGAINVILLE FREEDOM MOVEMENT CONDEMNS OROGEN
LAUNCH
Papua Niugini Niuswire, 8 October, 1996

The Bougainville Freedom Movement has condemned the Papua New Guinea
 government over its silence about Panguna copper mine in the controversial
 Orogen minerals launch, Garamut reports in its latest edition.

"Absent from the heavy advertising campaign is any mention of the Panguna
 copper-gold mine in central Bougainville," the Sydney-based
Bougainville Freedom Movement newsletter said.

"And the government remains silent about the ongoing, and increasingly
 unsuccessful war against Bougainville, whose main aim has been to recover this
 mine for CRA/RTZ, a war which has played a major role in bankrupting this
 potentially rich nation."

Garamut said the PNG government was "broke" and having trouble raising
 further funds through the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which
were said to be "appalled by endemic corruption and mismanagement".

The Australian government no longer wanted to supply untied funds which had
 often been diverted to increase the military budget.

The Chan government hopes to raise $260 million by selling off 49 per cent of
a recently launched company, Orogen Minerals Ltd, whose assets include much
 of PNG's share of its major mining and petroleum resources.

Orogen's advertised portfolio includes the Kutubu oilfield, the existing Porgera
 and Misima gold mines and the planned Lihir gold project, sited inside a
submarine volcano crater in New Ireland province.

"The sale of these national assets to private capitalists should, so the Chan
 government hopes, allow the PNG army to continue the war, continue to kill
 Bougainvilleans and Papua's soldiers," Garamut said.

"Whether the people of PNG will accept the loss of their minerals, their oil, to
 finance a futile war remains to be seen."  END

For further information:
email v.john at uts.edu.au
Moses Havini, Bougainville Interim Government 61-2-9804.7602
Max Watts, Journalist specialising in Bougainville, East Timor,
& West Papua.
61-2-9818.2343
Bougainville Freedom Movement, PO Box 134, Erskineville NSW 2043 Australia.




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