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BOUGAINVILLE: Kauona condemns 15-year time frame

Media release, 6 May 2000

"It is extremely frustrating to read of Sir Michael Somare's comment that a referendum for Independence on Bougainville will be held in 15 years time, said Sam Kauona, former general of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army.

"Somare's politics have expired as far as Bougainville's issue is concerned.

"His army is disintegrating after suffering a shameful defeat from the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA). Somare has no right to put that time frame for the referendum on Bougainville nor does the Papua New Guinea constitution. They will not stop Bougainvilleans conducting a referendum in one or two years time from now," stated Mr Kauona.

"It is the duty of BRA having the birthright responsibility and the guardian of the land to make sure Somare, Momis and their accomplices do not stall the real issue. I still do not understand why Momis has to be made the Governor of Bougainville. The way the political process has been progressingfor the last 6 months, it confirms the same tactic engaged in 1975 by the same leaders," Mr Kauona continued.

"In order for the New Zealand facilitated peace process which has lasted for the last 3 years to come to fruition, I as a former Commander of the BRA, would strongly recommend to President Joe Kabui and his Congress to get on track so the people of Bougainville can truly be represented."

"Momis should cease being the so-called Governor and his position become

obsolete. In addition to this, the so-called Bougainville Affairs Minister position should be in the hands of a Bougainvillean person. It is a disgrace that a non Bougainvillean is running and addressing Bougainville affairs. We have able Bougainvilleans like Sam Akoitai who was performing very well in the last Government.I'm sure there are many capable Bougainvilleans out there who can put 100 per cent effort, time and concentration in Bougainville affairs." Mr Kauona said.

"Come on you leaders of Bougainville. Stop pretending that the process is going to address the issue that we wanted addressed, which is the issue of Self Determination. We wanted the democratic process to prevail on our Island and gave you the chance, otherwise we'd have completely destroyed the enemy. BRA has come out victorious by defeating PNG forces and BRA isclosely monitoring the progress." Mr Kauona concluded.

For further information please contact: Mr Sam Kauona +64 6 3550232 or Rev. Bill Griffiths +64 9 818.9985


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