A former senior official with the Bougainville government says it is vital that any regional security force brought into the province for next year's referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea is unarmed.
The President of Bougainville John Momis spoke last week of his government's plans for such a force.
Martin Miriori, who held senior positions in the Bougainville Interim Government 20 years ago, backs the idea of a regional security force.
He said the force would be needed to ensure the validity of the referendum, but that it was vital it was unarmed.
Mr Miriori said the international security team should be modelled on the Truce Monitoring Group or the later Peace Monitoring Group, which played key roles in Bougainville following the civil war ceasefire.
And he said if Bougainvilleans recorded 90 percent or more for independence it would send a clear message to both Papua New Guinea and the international commmunity and recognise the dreams of many Bougainvilleans who died striving for that cause.