As this year becomes a very critical year for Bougainville with elections around the corner in April and the expected referendum to be conducted this year, the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) has become the focus of leaders in the government and veterans or ex combatants.
The BPA, which was signed in 2001, has three specific areas highlighted on Autonomy; Referendum and Weapons Disposal. It also emphasizes on ‘Good Governance.’
Second part of the forum- Held on Friday 30th January 2015
words and picture by Tanya Lahies
The President of ABG Chief Dr John Momis defended that his government is a good government, better than the previous government and that a lot was achieved under his leadership.
Photo caption: Ex combatant leader Ishmael Toroama addresses the crowd at the forum on Friday, at Bel Isi park
He responded to the group of ex combatants led by leaders Ishmael Toroama with Thomas Tari and Sam Kauona, who confronted the ABG with questions on whether ABG was inline with good governance.
This occurred in the first ever forum conducted between the President Chief Dr John Momis and the ex combatants leaders at a ground level.
In the past, many issues were dealt with through the media to channel their views. The forum was an opportunity for leaders to speak openly and frankly on issues dated back to last year.
The two main criteria which leaders have emphasized mainly in the forum were on weapons disposal and good governance.
The ex combatants agree that the Autonomous Bougainville Government still needed to be transparent, which got the response of the President Momis, that his government is not corrupt and that all activities with development partners were based on transparency and for the interest of the people.
The ABG led by President Chief Dr John Momis, agreed that there was a lot to be done with weapons disposal and questioned whether the veterans will do anything about the issue as at the moment people are still using weapons to threaten democracy.
Tomorrow we look at ex combatant Sam Kauona’s statement and Vice President Patrick Nisira’s response.