29 Nov 2011

Militant rehab a priority in south Bougainville says president

5:44 am on 29 November 2011

The President of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says rehabilitation of former militants in the Konnou area is a priority.

John Momis says today's signing of the Konnou Agreement, at the village of Mogoroi, marks the first truce between warring factions in the Konnou constituency.

The region has been shut off from government services for years because of fighting and criminal activities, partly blamed on groups led by Damian Koike, who will sign the agreement in Mogoroi.

President Momis says the fighting has gone on for a long time and the young men involved have been traumatised.

"Number one: trauma counselling. They need to go through a process of being counselled, rehabilitating them, maybe putting them through some kind of training and giving them assistance to be engaged in gainful socio-economic activities."

President John Momis says the Bougainville government will be asking donors and the Papua New Guinea government for the necessary funding.