19 Aug 2011

Bougainville wants restorative justice approach to settling violence in south

7:16 am on 19 August 2011

The autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville hopes to resolve a long standing impasse in the south of the main island by taking the traditional Melanesian approach of reconciliation.

Despite six years of autonomy, few government services are available around the district of Konnou because the security of workers can't be guaranteed.

Former combatants, led by Damian Koike, have been blamed for the crime and violence, which has claimed an unknown number of lives.

President John Momis wants face to face talks with Mr Koike, who he says is concerned he could face arrest at such an event.

Mr Momis says to have a permanent peace they'll need to take a traditional Melanesian restorative justice approach.

"To assist him to pay compensation, and vice versa, because there are people on the other side who have, in fact, dealt death blows to people on Koike's side, so it's a complicated situation and we are just trying to get to the bottom of it and work out a mutually acceptable peace arrangement."