23 Aug 2011

UN optimistic symbolic reconciliation ceremonies will work in south Bougainville

6:19 pm on 23 August 2011

The United Nations representative in Papua New Guinea is optimistic it can help mediate and reconcile factions in the troubled south of Bougainville.

The president of the autonomous province John Momis has said he hopes a traditional Melanesian approach will solve the impasse after earlier suggesting the need for UN peacekeepers to return.

The UN's David McLachlan-Karr says the deployment of such a force isn't likely and the UN can assist by drawing on a decade of experience reconciling factions in other parts of Bougainville.

"It often involves the exchange of valuable items, pigs and shells and money but these things are necessary and they're part of Melanesian culture. We hope to use the expertise that we've developed to bring similar types of exercises to the people of the south."

The UN's resident co-ordinator in Papua New Guinea David McLachlan-Karr.