1 Jun 2005

PNG asks UN to disregard rebel kingdom

3:45 pm on 1 June 2005

Papua New Guinea has asked the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to issue a public statement asserting the country's sovereignty and sidelining the "Republic of Meekamui" on Bougainville.

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, has written to Mr Annan saying it needs to be made clear that the UN recognises the independent state of PNG as the sole legitimate government of the country.

In the letter Sir Rabbie asked the UN to declare that the international community does not recognise or support the Republic of Meekamui or the Royal Kingdom of Papala.

His letter says a small minority of Bougainvilleans under the leadership of Francis Ona, continue to remain outside the Bougainville peace process.

It says many of them have enrolled for the election and voted, and some have even been nominated as candidates.

Sir Rabbie says that an increasing amount of propaganda issue by Mr Ona and his supporters claims the election and the establishment of the autonomous government on Bougainville are unnecessary because the province, under the self-styled government of Meekamui, is already independent.