10 Feb 2005

Governor says Bougainville school occupation over by Monday

9:17 pm on 10 February 2005

The spokesperson for the Governor of the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville says a 600-pupil school at Buka which has been occupied by youths will open to pupils on Monday.

Hutjena High School has been closed by the Hutjena Home Guard which is demanding payment from the provincial government for guarding the property during fighting seven years ago.

The school has just received a multi-million dollar upgrade courtesy of the European Union.

Parents of Hutjena pupils have fumed as provincial officials have been busy negotiating with the youths in a bid to open the school for the new academic year.

Elly Sawa, spokesman for Governor John Momis, says local chiefs have reached agreement with the youths and it will be written into a legal memorandum.

"The resolution reached yesterday, chiefs from the area ... they have talked to the youths and they have agreed to reopen the school on Monday -- this coming Monday -- while they consult with the administration legal officers."

Elly Sawa.