7 Sep 2016

Communication key to Bougainville reconciliation

3:11 pm on 7 September 2016

A Bougainville MP says the future lies in reconciling past grievances and working peacefully towards economic development.

Bougainville Central women's MP Marcelline Kokiai said there are two key challenges facing the autonomous Papua New Guinea region in the leadup to the 2019 referendum for independence.

Ms Kokiai said the major issue is communication and getting information out to grass-roots voters.

"At the moment the radio stations are not working. I'm surprised you are calling me from New Zealand and we are talking. In Arawa I cannot hear Radio Bougainville."

The other issue is security and ensuring the referendum will not lead to more armed conflict.

The Bougainville civil war of the 1990's left up to 20-thousand people dead with many still unaccounted for.

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