2 Aug 2005

Calls in Bougainville to investigate the cause of Francis Ona's death

10:17 am on 2 August 2005

There are calls for a thorough investigation into the death of Bougainville secessionist leader, Francis Ona.

Mr Ona reportedly died from malaria and typhoid ten days ago, aged 52.

He was not given a state funeral, and was instead laid to rest in the village of Guava in the No Go Zone, last Thursday.

No representatives from the new Autonomous Bougainville government were allowed to attend.

The Post Courier newspaper's Gorethy Kenneth, who attended the 5-thousand strong funeral, said there are still concerns being raised over his death.

"Relatives were arguing about wanting to know what really happened with Francis Ona. Whether he really died from malaria and typhoid, or basically blaming people, calling names and whether traditional sorcery killed Francis Ona."

Gorethy Kenneth says she understands an investigation is due to begin shortly.