PNG TO ASK UN TO ENDORSE BOUGAINVILLE PEACE MONITORS

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (March 18, 1998 - Radio Australia)--- Papua New Guinea will ask the United Nations Security Council to endorse a peace monitoring group for Bougainville, when the permanent cease fire in the province takes effect at the end of April.

Prime Minister Bill Skate's Special State Negotiator for Bougainville, Sir John Kaputin, told the PNG Parliament the peace monitors will take over from the current Truce Monitoring Group (TMG).

Sir John credited the current peace on Bougainville partly to the presence of the TMG, but said total peace would only be achieved by the Bougainvilleans themselves.

Radio Australia's Port Moresby office says while the UN Security Council might endorse the peace monitors, it is unlikely to provide any troops for the assignment. They will still come from within the Pacific Islands region.

The PNG Government, Sir John said, will seek the appointment of a special UN Observer Mission to monitor the cease fire arrangements.

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