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Port Moresby
January 26, 2021
Islands News

More Dialogue Needed

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The Autonomous Bougainville Government’s Mining Minister, Robin Wilson, says the commercial aspect of the Panguna Mine must not be discussed in isolation.

Minister Wilson says issues surrounding Bougainville’s autonomy are sensitive and should be considered, following the civil war on the island.

One is the Panguna Mine issue, which not only concerns landowners, but a matter for all Bougainvilleans.

Minister Wilson says that it’s important that the National Government must understand the perception in Bougainville over the Panguna Mine.

The aspect of protecting peace in Bougainville is vital, therefore such decisions made by the National Government to directly transfer BCL shares to landowners, will destroy peace building.

“If we just discuss the commercial aspect of the mine in isolation, of these considerations, then that is the recipe of creating another conflict,” he said.

The Bougainville Peace Agreement’s outcome will be mutually accepted if there is a good collaboration between parties signatory to this agreement.

“Manage their own affairs, and work to realise their aspirations. But this is not something that we see from the National Government. Instead it wants to dictate to the people of Bougainville on what we want,” Wilson said.

Meanwhile President Momis says the National Government must not undermine the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

“We should not dictate to the people of Bougainville. The Bougainville Peace Agreement is a good agreement which provides the avenue. Let’s stick to the Bougainville Peace Agreement,” said Momis.


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