13 Mar 2006

Bougainville's Kabui to protest to PNG for missing MSG talks

4:27 pm on 13 March 2006

There's to be an official protest to the Papua New Guinea government for not inviting the Bougainville president to the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting currently under way in Vanuatu.

The special meeting was called by the PNG foreign minister, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, to discuss, among other things, the ongoing presence of former Fijian soldiers on the PNG autonomous province of Bougainville.

Their activities have been a source of continuing tension between the two countries.

But, the Bougainville president, Joseph Kabui, says he should be present and the national governments cannot come up with a solution on their own.

"Bougainville has to be involved in whatever the discussions. Because, at the end of the day it is the Bougainvilleans that will live with the problems 24 hours a day and it's going to be us that's going to be affected by the whole issue. Not the Papua New Guinea government or the Fijian government."

Mr Kabui says under the autonomous peace agreement, the PNG national government is required to include the Bougainville government when it comes to all issues connected to the province.

A high level source in the PNG Foreign Ministry says he doesn't know why Mr Kabui wasn't invited.

Meanwhile, a senior Papua New Guinea minister, Sir Peter Barter, says the Fijians should leave because they will never get paid.

Sir Peter says the mastermind behind a pyramid scheme, Noah Musingku, should be arrested and charged as soon as possible.

The Fijian trainers, whose work experience includes missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, were reportedly promised one million US dollars each by Musingku.

Sir Peter says the five Fijians who are with Musingku in Bougainville should stop their illegal training activities and leave.