31 Mar 2005

Bougainville leader says the people will stay committed to peace process, despite Ona appearances

8:16 pm on 31 March 2005

The President of the Bougainville People's Congress, Joseph Kabui, says the Papua New Guinea island's leaders are confident the people will remain committed to the peace process.

His comments come after the sudden re-emergence of the rebel leader, Francis Ona, who has held two rallies in the past week and is understood to be planning another in Buin next week.

In the rallies, in Buka and Arawa, Mr Ona criticised the acceptance of autonomy and the upcoming elections, saying his self declared Mekamui government is running the island.

Mr Kabui says the comments have planted confusion among the people but leaders are confident that they will convince them to continue supporting the peace process.

"letting them know in no uncertain terms that the option the peace process is providing is the most practicable, viable option that can really and truly be a lasting peace to Bougainville."