TOP BOUGAINVILLE REBEL TELLS SCOUTING

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BUSINESSMEN TO STAY OUT

BUKA, Bougainville (May 29, 1998 - The National/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)--- South Bougainville rebel commander Paul Bobby yesterday said he was disappointed with the influx of business minded outsiders coming to the island to look for investment opportunities, the National reports.

And he called on the Government and the parties involved in the peace process to immediately come up with measures to prevent outsiders from coming into Bougainville to set up businesses.

Mr. Bobby, who played an important role in the capture and release of the five security force members last year, said that while the cease-fire was still fragile, the presence of "suspicious-looking'' people on the island could easily frustrate Bougainvilleans, particularly the rebels who were involved in the peace process.

He said he had personally witnessed expatriates openly looking for business opportunities in the province.

"I am asking these people not to come. At the same time, I am making a special appeal to parties to the peace process to immediately come up with strict measures to prevent them from coming here," said Mr. Bobby.

He said that he believed his own people were acting as agents and mediators in Port Moresby and Buka to lure these investors here.

Mr. Bobby said that the only outside organizations that the Bougainvilleans, particularly the rebels, welcomed at present were AusAID, UNDP, the Red Cross, and the Peace Monitoring Group.

"I must repeat that unidentified and strange looking people have to stay out of Bougainville because we don't want to get into trouble with them and destabilize the peace process," said Mr. Bobby.

Meanwhile, rebel planner and commander of the Northern Bougainville rebel faction, Ben Kamda, said members of his group were frustrated with the manner in which the Government was treating them, particularly by not involving them in the peace process.

Mr. Kamda said his men and other rebels came out of the bush last year to participate in the peace process because the Government had promised to engage them in projects such as sour milking, fishing, and other small-scale business activities.

He said, however, that it was disappointing to see that the Government was failing to fulfill any of the commitments, adding that the rebels were now forced to the sidelines and be mere spectators to what certain government leaders and officials were doing.

Mr. Kamda said that to make the situation worse, certain government technical officers on Bougainville, particularly at the Bougainville Transitional Government headquarters in Buka, were not showing any appreciation for the efforts that the rebels were putting into the peace process.

"They sit here and run around in government vehicles everyday. At the end of the day, some of them become totally unproductive. They take no notice of what the rebels are doing," he said.

Mr. Kamda, who contributed by convincing his fellow rebel leaders to attend the peace talks leading to the Lincoln Agreement and the cease-fire agreement, said that one course of action to show his frustration would be to withdraw his services.

He said that some rebel leaders from South and Central Bougainville, who felt that they were treated in a similar manner, have arrived here to seek redress.

Title -- 1401 BOUGAINVILLE: Top rebel tells businessmen to keep out Date -- 29 May 1998 Byline -- Philip Kepson Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- The National (PNG), 29/5/98 Copyright -- The National Status – Unabridged

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Please acknowledge Niuswire: niusedita@pactok.net.au http://www.pactok.net.au/docs/nius/

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