Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) vice-president Patrick Nisira has called on the Government to consider the politically sensitive environment of the region when voting for the ratification and endorsement of the referendum result in Parliament.

Nisira said that no one could have predicted the result of the referendum.

“But when the results were announced on 11 December 2019, people cried with joy and sorrow, remembering everything that they had gone through,” he said.

“We lost many lives and from 1990 to 1996, the Government put a ban on all government services into Bougainville – this was a very tough time in the history of our people.

“Can you imagine a government imposing such a treatment to any of your provinces, other provinces, as it did in Bougainville?

“Imagine no schools, no medical services and supplies, no business and no transportation.

“We were blocked out for six years; We don’t want to go through that again.

“These are the matters of our hearts and minds and I appeal to the Government to do the right thing.

“We have been through enough.

“Papua New Guinea must also reflect on the expectation of the people of Bougainville for the ratification of the referendum result.”

Meanwhile, PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) chief Major-Gen Mark Goina has clarified that the army was in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville as requested by President Ishmael Toroama.

Goina said PNGDF was there to help with disaster rehabilitation following the recent eruption of Mt Bagana.
“We are supporting the National Disaster Centre,” he said.

“We are not the lead agency.

“Our contribution to that effort consists of transporting relief supplies from Rabaul across to Buka.”

Goina said the personnel currently on the ground were transporting relief supplies from Lae.

He said they travelled to Lae to pick up the supplies provided by the Australian Government, then sailed to Rabaul and over to Buka.