18 Jul 2018

Bougainville cheque from PNG government bounces

3:17 pm on 18 July 2018

A cheque for $US1.49 million dollars given to Bougainville by the Papua New Guinea government has bounced, the president of Bougainville says.

The money, handed over just over a week ago, was an initial installment of hundreds of millions of PNG kina that Bougainville says the national government is constitutionally obliged to pay it.

President John Momis said it was another sign that the Peter O'Neill administration did not care about the autonomous region's upcoming independence referendum.

John Momis and Peter O'Neill

John Momis and Peter O'Neill Photo: RNZ / AFP

Both Bougainville and PNG were required to fully implement the Bougainville Peace Agreement of which the referendum is a key part, Mr Momis said.

But Port Moresby wasn't prepared to pick up its "end of the stick.

"They keep on procrastinating and who is going to force us to implement it? The United Nations or Australia and New Zealand, the friendly countries?" Mr Momis said.

"We have done everything possible on our side and the national government just keeps on procrastinating, using all sorts of excuses," he said.

The president said he hoped some key issues could be remedied at another meeting with the national government next week.

In the meantime, the Bougainville government was holding onto the cheque in the hope the funds would eventually be made available, Mr Momis said.

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