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West Papua independence movement re-submits for full MSG membership

An application by the United Liberation Movement of West Papua to become a full member of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has been re-activated. Last year, the ULMWP announced itself as a provisional government in exile for West Papua, as it pushes for a referendum on independence from Indonesia. Several years ago, the ULMWP applied for full membership status at the sub-regional...

Cook Islands panic abates after first ever Covid case proves to be a false alarm

On Friday, the tiny Pacific country, one of the few countries to avoid any Covid cases throughout the pandemic, announced its first case: a 10-year-old boy who arrived on a flight from Auckland to Rarotonga, the main island in the country. “I was honestly going to quit my job and stay home when I found out it was a positive...

King tides wreak havoc on islands in Manus and East Sepik Province

The rise in sea level and king tides now affecting more than 30,000 lives on coastal Manus will continue through 2022, according to the Manus Province disaster office. The king tides started on 03 December, 2021, destroying thousands of homes on Manus Island and is expected to continue through to January. Most coastal areas and smaller atolls from Mokerang on Los...

ADB signs $6 million grant to expand renewable energy in Vanuatu

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a US$6 million grant and the Government of Vanuatu US$1.2 million to establish a network to deliver renewable energy to the people of Malekula and Espiritu Santo islands. The ADB-supported Vanuatu Energy Access Project will help construct a 400-kilowatt Brenwe hydropower plant and extend the two islands’ electricity grids to deliver sustainable, affordable...

Bougainville’s quest for nationhood

Passing the final hurdles As Bougainville marks two years since its historic independence referendum, Pacific leaders must work together to ensure the process does not falter, Ben Bohane writes. There were colourful rallies around Bougainville in late 2019 as people prepared to vote in a referendum they had waited decades for. In the carnival atmosphere, people tooted car horns and...

New support from Republic of Korea for Blue Pacific Coastal and Marine Planning

The Pacific Islands Forum Deputy Secretary General, Filimon Manoni, and Young-kyu Park, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, have Tuesday signed a new project to support coastal and marine planning under the Republic of Korea – Pacific Islands Forum Cooperation Fund. Valued at US$D1.8 million, the three-year project will be implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC), the Korea Institute of...

Malaita eyes independence: Premier Suidani

The Malaita Provincial Government in Solomon Islands is seeking the assistance of the United Nations Security Council to fulfil recommendations in the Townsville Peace Agreement (TPA) for an independent Malaita. Malaita Provincial Premier Daniel Suidani revealed this on Monday during a public address in the provincial capital, Auki. Suidani told the public gathering that the provincial government and Malaita for Democracy...

Ocean flooding hits Marshall Islands, Micronesia over consecutive days

Ocean flooding for the third straight day hit low-lying islands throughout the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), causing sparse damage but requiring large-scale clean-ups in their wake. Roads by Amata Kabua International Airport in Majuro was down to single lane traffic Monday afternoon as heavy equipment operators moved up and down the long roadway clearing rocks...

Three contenders for Tonga’s prime minister’s job

There are now three people shaping up to contest for the Tonga prime ministership. Tongans went to the polls last month and elected an all-male parliament, with nine new faces coming in via the 17 People's Representative seats, and three among the nobles. The last day for nominations for the prime minister is Tuesday next week, 14 December 2021, before parliament...

Recent events were an attempted coup: PM Sogavare

The motion of no confidence and calls for Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to resign are made against the backdrop of an illegally attempted coup. Sogavare made this comment in Parliament Monday during the motion of no confidence vote against him as Prime Minister. He said what happened on Wednesday 24 November was an attempted coup to overthrow a democratically...

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