PREPARATIONS UNDERWAY FOR THURSDAY’S BOUGAINVILLE CEASE FIRE

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PREPARATIONS UNDER WAY FOR THURSDAY’S BOUGAINVILLE CEASE FIRE

CANBERRA, Australia (April 28, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Preparations are moving forward on Papua New Guinea's Bougainville island for Thursday's signing of a cease fire to end the decade-long secessionist war.

The cease fire agreement, which was agreed to in Canberra several weeks ago, is undergoing a number of last minute alterations, Radio Australia reports.

Organizers are still hoping that the secessionist President, Francis Ona, will change his mind and give his endorsement to the signing.

Officials from all factions, with the possible exception of Ona's, are due to meet Tuesday night on board the Australian navy ship, the HMAS Tobruk.

The Tobruk will be the venue for a leaders’ meeting Wednesday, which is expected to be attended by Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Bill Skate, and the secessionist Vice President, Joseph Kabui.

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