19 Jan 2005

Roadblocks hoped to be lifted on PNG's Bougainville island

11:31 am on 19 January 2005

The Administrator of the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville is optimistic that roadblocks to Panguna and Aropa will be removed shortly.

Peter Tsiamalili says they have made direct contact with the rebel leader, Francis Ona, whose supporters are linked to the roadblocks.

He says Mr Ona has been open to negotiations and Mr Tsiamalili says he's confident Mr Ona will help clear the roadblocks.

He says the talks are part of the preparations for Bougainville to be able to elect its own autonomous government.

"And we're optimistic, hopefully before the end of the month, the roadblocks both in Aropa and Panguna no go zone will be cleared. We have already put in place a plan of education to restore all the basic services, especially health and education, and even the feeder roads in that area."

The Administrator for Bougainville, Peter Tsiamalili