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MEDIA RELEASE Bougainville Freedom Movement 19 December 1997

The five Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) officers, Major Walter Enuma, Captain Bola Renagi, Captain Belden Namah, Lieutenant Michael David and Second Lieutenant Linus Osoba, now behind bars convicted of mutiny, played an essential role in stopping Sandline International mercenaries from going to Bougainville to kill and murder the entire population of Central Bougainville.

It has now been revealed in a separate civilian investigation that the Sandline International mercenary contract involved securing the Panguna copper mine in Central Bougainville for Papua New Guinea, Australia and Rio Tinto Mining Company. The plans called for the "wholesale elimination," that is, murder of the entire population of Central Bougainville and also to kill all subsequent witnesses which included the PNG Resistance fighters on Bougainville. This contract for cold blooded murder, known as "Operation Oyster," convinced Commander General Jerry Singirok and supportive PNG soldiers such as Major Walter Enuma, etc., preventing Sir Julius Chan's government and Sandline International mercenaries from perpetrating mass murder.

The so-called mutiny of July 28 shed no blood and caused no harm to anyone. It was destined to obtain amnesty for a cessation of further persecution of soldiers and officers who had carried out Operation Rausim Kwik which stopped the murderers, Sandline International, and prevented the bloodshed and murder of 10,000 people on Bougainville.

To sentence Major Walter Enuma, Captain Bola Renagi, Captain Belden Namah, Lieutenant Michael David and Second Lieutenant Linus Osoba to hard labour terms is an act of revenge by Leo Nuia, Commander of the PNG Defence Force, and behind him Sir Julius Chan and behind them Rio Tinto Mining Company because these five PNG soldiers foiled their plan to recover the Panguna copper mine at the cost of countless lives both Bougainvillean and Papua New Guinean.

All who condemned the mercenary murder plans (including the Howard Government) must now come to the defence of these five jailed officers.

"Freedom for Enuma, Renagi, Namah, David and Osoba. They stopped the murderers, Sandline International. They are heroes with a conscience. The wrong people are behind bars!" said Vikki John of the Bougainville Freedom Movement.

For further information, please contact +(61-2) 9558.2730

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