22 Jan 2019

O'Neill called on to explain Bougainville outsiders comment

9:55 am on 22 January 2019

An MP says he believes the Papua New Guinea government is not interested in Bougainville, as the region prepares for an independence referendum scheduled for later this year.

Timothy Masiu

Timothy Masiu Photo: PNG Parliament

South Bougainville MP Tim Masiu said Port Moresby continued to drag the chain on paying promised money to the autonomous region.

The funding is vital for the referendum planned for June.

Mr Masiu said he was also mystified by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill's statement last week that Bougainville must beware of outside interference in the referendum.

"The only people I know who are helping us on Bougainville are our friends - donor partners who are in there, the United Nations, the New Zealand government is helping us with law and order and justice sector and other developmental issues on Bougainville, the Australian government is doing the same, and others are helping us and I am not sure what outsiders he is talking about."

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