15 Mar 2006

Bougainville president calls for U.N. intervention

8:34 am on 15 March 2006

There's a call for the United Nations to intervene in the Papua New Guinea autonomous province of Bougainville over the presence of the former Fiji soldiers.

The Bougainville president, Joseph Kabui, says this would assist the ongoing efforts on the ground to resolve the situation through peaceful dialogue.

He also says he will not accept an imposed solution in what is a reference to a meeting being held today by the foreign ministers of the Melanesian Spearhead Group in Vanuatu to discuss that issue, among others.

Mr Kabui says whatever the outcome of the MSG meeting, Bougainville will not accept others telling them what to do about the former Fijian soldiers who are reportedly training militia in the no go zones.

He believes the solution to the situation needs to be carefully thought through and achieved peacefully.

"Nobody on Bougainville - nobody - whether it is those of us with ABG (autonomous Bougainville government), or those aligning themselves with Mekamui or UVistract - nobody wants another war on Bougainville. If there's a mishandling of the whole thing, it can easily blow into another war in here, yes."

Mr Kabui says the U.N. has already asked for an invitation to come in to PNG and Fiji over the issue so the countries should respond accordingly.