NEW ZEALAND FORCES ON STANDBY FOR BOUGAINVILLE

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (November 16, 1997 - Radio Australia)---New Zealand army and navy forces are reported to be on standby, ready to move to the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville as truce monitors.

Soldiers at Linton Camp, near Palmerston North, as well as a frigate, tanker and support ship are preparing to sail as early as Tuesday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Don McKinnon has declined to comment on the reports, saying only that no official request for the forces has been received.

The Bougainville Revolution Army, which has waged a nine-year struggle for the independence of the copper-rich island, and the PNG government now are observing a truce.

Another round of peace talks, involving Bougainville and Port Moresby officials, is scheduled to take place in Cairns, Australia beginning Wednesday.

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