8 Jun 2005

Elected woman in PNG's Bougainville says normal life yet way off

3:36 pm on 8 June 2005

The successful women's candidate for Central Bougainville following the Papua New Guinea province's autonomous government elections, Magdalene Itona Toroansi, says normal life in the province is a long way off.

The former diplomat, who has already been added to President Joseph Kabui's Cabinet, says she, and other candidates, campaigned freely in the No Go Zone around Panguna and this is a sign peace has returned to all Bougainville.

But she says many in the province remain traumatised by the years of conflict.

Ms Toroansi says the new Government will need to set up social service programmes, possibly in league with the churches.

"To work with the families, children, adults. To work out what sort of situation or problem they are facing - to realise or appreciate that they have problems. From there we can work with them to come back to accepting or working with the society."