The Autonomous Region of Bougainville celebrated the 17th Anniversary of the formation of the Autonomous Bougainville Government on June 15.
Celebrations were held in the three regional capitals in North Bougainville (Buka Town), Central Bougainville (Arawa Town) and South Bougainville (Buin Town).
Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama was in Arawa for the celebrations where he was the keynote speaker.
President Toroama paid tribute to former Bougainville leaders as well ex-combatants who fought in the Bougainville Civil War.
He said their sacrifice made possible the existence of the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the legal framework that preceded the ABG and allowed it’s creation.
“In the present my government has finally positioned Bougainville ready to attain independence but doing so through the established legal process,” President Toroama said.
“However, this does not mean our people can suddenly become complacent. We all have a duty to Bougainville and to honor the blood that was spilled on our island to work with our government to achieve political independence,” Toroama said.
“There are a lot of people who are find of asking where the government up to with its development priorities and independence readiness but I turn to you and ask you, Na yu nap where?” Toroama said.
On June 15th 2005 the first Bougainville House of Representatives was sworn in with the Late Joseph Kabui as President and witnessed by then Prime Minister the Late Great Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare.
This gave birth to the autonomous arrangements that have since been in place on Bougainville.