29 Dec 2008

Finishing peace building process likely main task for new Bougainville President

2:45 pm on 29 December 2008

A spokesperson for an NGO in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says the newly elected President, James Tanis, will need to concentrate on completing the peace process.

Mr Tanis, who was once closely linked with the late separatist leader, Francis Ona, beat 13 other contenders for the post.

He won by nearly two thousand votes ahead of the second placed candidate, former National Government Cabinet Minister, Sam Akoitai.

Monica Taga of the Bougainville Inter Church Women's Forum says she is pleased with Mr Tanis's victory and says there is a need to finish peace building in the formerly war torn province.

She says there are three pillars within this.

"The first pillar being peace building in regards to weapons disposal - that is incomplete. And also rehabilitation, thinking about, if weapons are disposed, how do you rehabilitate those that own the guns right now. The ex-combatants and the civilians who are victims at this time and also the reconstruction of the essential services."