The Torokina Community in South Bougainville have welcomed Operation Render Safe into their area and see it as a positive step toward development.
Apart from reservations raised by ex-combatants and some leaders the Torokina people when welcoming the dignitaries from the representative nations taking part in the operation expressed their gratitude to them.
On hand were the National Member for South Bougainville and Minister for Bougainville Affairs as well as the ABG President Chief Dr John Momis.
President Momis said that the help from the Australian Government as well as the other nations participating in the operation will create a conducive atmosphere for the people and the government to embark on new socio economic development.
“I would also like to thank the leaders and people of Torokina for accepting the development into their communities and to allow this operation to create safer communities in the District.
“With the ABG’s aspirations to create a democratic government which is our primary objective, we also have to provide services for our people, with this being said services are not an easy task,” the President said.
President Momis said that despite the incapacities of Bougainville’s internal revenue the government is still committed to providing basic services to the people of Bougainville/
The President added that Operation Render Safe will pave the way forward for development in the area.
The President’s sentiments were shared by Minister for Bougainville Affairs Steven Pirika who stated that for too long the people of Torokina suffered from the remnants of war left behind by the allied forces.
Minister Pirika said that move by the governments of the allied forces to remove the unexploded ordnances in the area is a sure sign of development and partnership between all the stakeholders involved in the operation.
Operation Render Safe is currently underway and involves military personal from Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand and police from the Solomon Islands.
The Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams from the taskforce nations have uncovered over 3000 landmines and bombs from WWII.
The EOD teams will be stationed along in Torokina for the duration of the operation and try to cover as much land area as possible.