2 Aug 2019

Bougainville seeks to bring separatists into the fold

From , 3:02 pm on 2 August 2019

Efforts are underway to reach out to the last two remaining separatist groups in Bougainville.

Just months out from a referendum on independence from Bougainville the vast majority of ex-combatants met last week and committed to back the vote and to support the weapons disposal programme.

From the meeting a new group emerged, the Bougainville Veterans, which includes former members of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, the Bougainville Resistance and most of the Me'ekamui separatist groups.

But other Me'ekamui factions, one headed by Damian Koike and the other by so called King of Papaala and Me'ekamui, Noah Musingku, remain outside of the peace process.

Now the Bougainville Veterans are to approach both these groups and try and bring them into the peace process.

Bougainville's Minister for Peace Agreement Implementation, Albert Punghau explains to Don Wiseman.

2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement ceremony in Arawa

2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement ceremony in Arawa Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel