Bougainville civil war veteran feels time's right to become an MP

11:05 am on 30 July 2020

A former veteran of the Bougainville civil war says the autonomous region of Papua New Guinea's new parliament will need people like him to complete the march to independence.

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Photo: The Bougainvillean

Donald Hamao was the leader of the Buka Liberation Front, which split from the Bougainville Revolutionary Army during the civil war.

Hamao said the constituency he is contesting in next month's election, Haku, was the stronghold of the Liberation Front which he thought would ensure he took the seat.

Hamao said he was involved in the peace negotiations 20 years ago and had now chosen to go into politics because of the outcome of last November's referendum.

"So here we are," he said.

"Our people have voted overwhelmingly for independence, so I said, OK you need the old friends who handled the peace negotiations, resulting in the peace package, and you need those brains again in the consultations, because whether PNG likes it or not, Bougainville will fight for independence.

"Nothing more, nothing less."