31 Oct 2006

Bougainville confident that Noah Musingku's rebels will soon down weapons

7:33 pm on 31 October 2006

The government in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says a break away group it has been at loggerheads with for more than a year is expected to shortly start surrendering its guns.

After weeks of talks with the operator of the U-Vistract money scam, Noah Musingku, the ABG's police minister, Ezekiel Masatt, says there has been a meeting of minds.

Mr Musingku claims to run his own kingdom in the south of the province and has denied people there access to most government services.

But Mr Masatt says there has now been an agreement to set up a container at Tonu into which Mr Musingku's armed supporters can dispose of their guns.

He says there is also a hope that United Nations observers might return to the province to oversee the weapons disposal.

"The vice president has sounded out the possibility of the UN again becoming involved in this phase of weapons disposal with U-Vistract."