120 firearms collected ahead of Bougainville referendum

10:59 am on 3 September 2019

A-hundred and twenty-one firearms have been collected by the Me'ekamui factions throughout the autonomous Papua New Guinea of Bougainville.

Flag of autonomous region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea

Photo: manganganath/123RF

The Post Courier newspaper reported the firearms were brought to Panguna to be locked up in an armoured shed as part of preparations for the referendum on independence in November.

The collection started with a declaration "to contain all weapons held by former combatants and civilians" which was signed in July during the Bougainville Veterans Summit.

A cultural ceremony was held and the weapons from Me'ekamui groups in Panguna, Buin and Wakunai were put into the armoury for safe keeping.

According to Me'ekamui Commander, Moses Pipiro, the weapons will not be destroyed but used as part of a monument or museum for future generations.

Mr Pipiro says more weapons from Me'ekamui, especially from North Bougainville, will be handed in over the next few weeks.

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