9 Apr 2012

Former Bougainville militants urged to respects PNG laws

11:27 am on 9 April 2012

Chiefs and other leaders in Papua New Guinea's Bougainville have told ex-combatants that the autonomous province won't develop unless they show respect for law and order.

Armed former militants have caused havoc in and around the main town Buka in recent weeks, including the destruction of three ships belonging to the owner of the Rabaul Queen inter island ferry which sank two months ago off Morobe.

Chiefs and local government personnel met leaders of the ex-combatants and called on them to behave.

The chair of the chief's council, Robert Tohia Tabuta, says these people have to realise they are holding back the development of the province.

"[In] the absence of law and order here in our region, there is no development. So the chiefs, the leaders, of Buka Island, Bougainville Island are concerned that if our ex-combatants do not abide by the law it negates development."