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Momis Hails Bougainville Pact

Momis Hails Bougainville Pact As 'Freedom From Oppression'

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http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/docs/news/wansolnews/2002/2002march/wansol1303021.html

By FLORENCE KUALI: March 13, 2002 Wansolwara Online (USP)

SUVA (Pasifik Nius): The Bougainville peace agreement was today hailed as a move that ended bloodshed, freed Bougainvilleans from oppression, and spurred them towards nation building.

Father John Momis, Governor of Bougainville, speaking at a politics seminar at the University of the South Pacific, said the peace agreement gave the people of Bougainville a stake in the enterprise of nation building and national development.

"They feel now that these are the effective partners in the nation development," he said.

Fr Momis said the Bougainville peace agreement was a joint creation between the PNG government and the Bougainvilleans.

"So I think that is a good agreement," he said.

He said Bougainvillians and the PNG government had actually reached a common ground that they were defending now.

The national government of PNG did not argue with the Bougainvilleans anymore after the peace agreement because they were a both pleased with the agreement.

Fr Momis said that now the members of Parliament really "showed their true colours" as really concerned representatives for the people and showed their willingness to grant a referendum to Bougainvilleans.

"This is because the Bougainville peace agreement is there as a way to end the war, and also because almost 15 to 20,000 people died in the war on both sides," he said.

"The people and leaders of PNG are happy because the war has come to an end and we have learnt a lot of lessons," he said.

"This brings our attention to know and have good governance, institutions, capacity building and looking at youth investment policies in Bougainville."

The PNG Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta was committed to looking at a wider implications of the Bougainville peace agreement for the rest of the country.

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