Bougainville News : Today we celebrate 18th AROB Day Anniversary June 15 2005 to 2023

Where were you at the beginning of this era on this Day 15 June 2005.
I was at Hahela YC sports oval. This was the outdoors venue where the inauguration of the first ABG took place.
It is where the President of ABG (Joseph C Kabui) took his oaths as the first President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville within PNG.
It is also where the first 40 members of the First Bougainville House of Representatives took their oaths of Office as Members.
The swearing-in was administered by and before His Honour the Deputy Chief Justice, late Sir Mari Kapi.
This Day was graced by a full crowd of women, men, including schoolchildren that filled the whole oval. A colorful loop of young students holding a large Bougainville flag end to bed took up a large space of the oval.
At the head of the ceremonial pavilion were VIPs that included head of UNOMB, heads of missions in PNG, a Fijian Government contingent led by their Foreign Minister at the time, and heads and representatives of churches, chiefs, elders, traditional spiritual leaders and women leaders.
The significance of this occasion was a “rebirth”of Bougainville after a devastating conflict in which many lives were lost on all sides of the conflict but mostly upwards of fifteen thousand lives of Bougainvilleans.
The thoughts and significance that today marked the end of what seemed a debilitating war and the beginning today that would usher in peace in the land was not lost to many Bougainvilleans at home and abroad.
The principal guest who made the keynote response to the inaugural Address by President Kabui was the Rt Hon Prime Minister of PNG, Sir Michael Somare.
At the end of the ceremony the Prime Minister, the President, all MHRs, VIPs and the Clerk of the House were ‘ushered’ into vehicles on a short drive to the Parliament, Bougainville’s first House of Representatives.
The first business of the House was the appointment of Speaker of the House. Hon Nick Peniai was duly elected and took his oath as the first Speaker of the House.
Two main Addresses followed, the first in the Bougainville House of Representatives by the Rt Hon Sir Michael Somare and by Hon Joseph C Kabui.
On this day was born the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, the ABG and Bougainville’s Parliament, the House of Representatives.
So today isn’t just another day. It is the eighteenth anniversary of AROB eighteen years on. Hon Ishmael Toroama MHR is the fifth President of ABG and head of the Executive. The Fourth Bougainville House of Representatives is celebrating its fourth anniversary with four successful, successive peaceful elections since 2005 with its fifth Speaker as head of the Legislature on this eighteenth anniversary.
Thanking all Bougainvilleans across the length and breath of the main Islands and out on the Atolls.
Thank you PNG National Government for honouring the BPA in delivering Autonomy and maintaining a continuing interest in the development and aspirations of Bougainville.
A long and winding, challenging and interesting, road is ahead and beyond. It isn’t awaiting us. We have to make the right efforts guided by faith, honesty, trust and forebearance, led by leaders that must not only be beyond reproach but seen to be so in a world that is still violent, full of greed and aggrandizement.
Happy AROB Day Anniversary ☮️