Families of missing persons in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville want a decent burial for loved ones who went missing during the civil war on the island.
The families of those missing are calling on the national government and those responsible to ensure that their loved ones are buried in their right places.
This call was made by the families during the commemoration of the International Day of The Disappeared.
These are families who have lost their loved ones during the ten year bloody conflict in Bougainville.
In Central Bougainville, it began on Monday night with traditional chants, which continued with a silent march around Arawa Town and concluded at the Independence Oval.
The public also viewed some pictures of those missing persons.
Buka hosted the event in North Bougainville. A silent march was also held at the main town, to the Bel Isi Park.
Dorothy Kol Lobiasa, from Tohatsi Village in the Halia Constituency of Buka, lost three of her brothers, Lawrence, George and Michael during the civil war.
But through the process of identifying the missing persons, her families were able to repatriate remains of Lawrence and George.
“I appreciate the work carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). We the family, from the bottom of our heart, would like to thank them.
But one of her brother, Michael, is still missing and she has hopes, one day his remains will be found.
“Michael is still missing and we don’t know where he is. We appeal to those that know, where his whereabouts, to come forward and let us know,”
“We are ready to forgive,” she said.
Scholastica Miriori has been working closely with the Family of Missing Persons since 2014.
She says that reconciliation is the way forward for lasting peace on the island.
“Only through reconciliation, we will then retrieve the bones and hand over to the families. It needs full participation and partnership,” says James Daniel Waites who is the Communication and Cooperation Delegate of the the International Committee of the Red Cross.
“The ABG is currently engaged in the process in trying to address the issue of missing persons. There is a consultative committee meeting on a regular basis, to discuss the way forward on this issue. The ICRC is providing technical support and advice to the Autonomous Bougainville Government,”
“The issue of missing persons is something is ICRC has fair decree of expertise given that we have addressed issues in a lot of context around the world,” he adds.