Men, women and children who went missing during the Bougainville crisis will be searched and accounted for by a new office set up in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Families of individuals who went missing during the tragic crisis are a step closer to knowing the fate of their loved ones with thanks to the technical support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The Office of the Missing in Bougainville will serve as a dedicated institution committed to setting up a strictly humanitarian mechanism to search for the missing persons and help families, where possible, find answers to the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones.

The office is basically established to provide comfort on social, emotional and psychological sufferings families of missing persons have been going through over the years.

ICRC involvement paves the way to take a proactive stand on its humanitarian commitment to address those issues.

“The fact that many people had gone missing.

“And their families still do not know what has happened to them and where they are is a source of stress and serious suffering,” ICRC’s Head of Mission in PNG Georgios Georgantas said during the opening of the office in Buka last month.

“We have faced such situations in other parts of the world, and we know what it means.

“The inauguration of this office marks our determination to do something about it.

“The ICRC will be supporting the office but the ultimate responsibility of providing answers to the people of Bougainville lies with the authorities in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.”

This is significant milestone toward addressing an underlying issue of families impacted with social, emotional and psychological discomfort.