The Panguna community in Bougainville set asidetheir differences and joinedtheir lLeadersand launchedthe Panguna Peace Beilding Strategy on Tuesday.
Despitethe drizzles,the Australian High Commission delegation andthe local lLeadersjoinedthe men, women and children in a procession to beginthe ceremony.
Outgoing Australian High Commissioner Ian Kemish wasthe guest speaker. He toldthe people that reconciliation isthe key to development for Bougainville.
The strategy is one ofthe three Bougainville Peace Agreements 2005 to 2015. Its role is to reunite and heal divided communities and preparethem for a prosperous future.
The lLeaderssaidthe 1987 Panguna conflict has done so much harm tothe people andthe environment. They said peace isthe only answer in bringing about economic recovery, infrastructure and social development into Bougainville.
The lLeaderssaid oncethere is peace and order;the mine will come into operation.
Outgoing Australian High Commissioner Ian Kemish commendedthe people andthe lLeadersfor taking a bold step towards reconciliation.
Mr. Kemish saidthe international community is waiting and willing to develop Bougainville.
The strategy has funding backing of K1.28 million fromthe Australian government and K1 million fromthe Autonomous Region of Bougainville Government.
Bernadette Efi, National EMTV News