Families of Missing People left in Anguish and Uncertainty

The Governments, Military Authorities and armed groups, have an obligation to provide answers, to questions about people who went missing during the Bougainville Crisis.


This was a concern raised at the meeting in Arawa, a Pilot Project of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Participants discussed ways to clarify the fate of the missing, as well as possible avenues to support their families.


The fate and whereabouts of the people, who vanished during the Bougainville Crisis, remains unknown, causing anguish and uncertainty.


It was identified in the Arawa meeting, that the Government lacked understanding to its obligation of informing those families who lost their loved ones.


Since 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the PNG Red Cross have been working with the Governments on this issue, included efforts to promote peace and reconciliation.


According to Red Cross Official Brendan Michael Kernich, under International Humanitarian Law, the families have the right to know.


A paramount chief from Pokpok Island who attended the workshop, warned; quoted in a press statement saying that if no action on the missing is taken, it will hinder Bougainville’s peace process.


ICRC is seeking to ease the suffering of the families of the people who have gone missing in connection with the armed conflict.


Two further workshops will be conducted in Buka and Buin later this year.

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