UN TO STAY IN BOUGAINVILLE IN 1999

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NEW YORK, New York (December 9, 1998 - AFP)---The United Nations Security Council reports it will maintain a presence on the separatist island of Bougainville to keep the peace process alive in the Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea.

The council members "hope that the UN will play an effective role in the peace process in Bougainville," Bahrein's ambassador and council president Mohammed Bualley said.

A peace agreement signed between warring factions last April in New Zealand ended a 10-year civil war that killed some 20,000 people.

But the discussions have yet to lead to the creation of a coalition government.

The council members "call upon all faction leaders to be involved actively and constructively in a dialogue in order to achieve a permanent peace," Bualley said.

BOUGAINVILLE TO GO OWN WAY

ARAWA, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea (December 10, 1998 - Post-Courier)---The Bougainville leaders' meeting in Arawa yesterday refused to discuss options from the National Government on the formation of the Bougainville Reconciliation government.

Instead, the leaders decided on the establishment under the "constitution of the Bougainville Reconciliation government, a Bougainville People's Congress by December 31, 1998.''

In a joint communiqué released after the one-day meeting in Arawa yesterday, the leaders said they would adopt the Constitution of the BRG by December 22, 1998.

They also called for a leaders' meeting between themselves and the PNG Government to be convened soon to discuss details of the establishment of the BRG, which they say will be a Bougainville People's Congress, and the political future of Bougainville.

The communiqué was signed by Bougainville Interim Government Vice-President Joseph Kabui, Bougainville Transitional Government Premier Gerard Sinato, his deputy Thomas Anis, BIG Minister for Reconciliation and Political Education James Tanis, BRA Commander Sam Kauona and Resistance Force Deputy Chairman Patrick Laurie.

The meeting, chaired by the United Nations Representative in Bougainville, Valery Marusin, and witnessed by the multi-national peace force on Bougainville, the Peace Monitoring Group, wound up after reaffirming its push for the BRG to be set up by December 31.

"We want nothing more, and nothing less,'' Mr. Kabui declared from Arawa last night.

He said Mr. Akoitai attended the afternoon part of the meeting with the Bougainville leaders but was told not to put forward options he had with him and to take it back to Port Moresby to tell the Prime Minister Bill Skate that the Bougainville leaders' communiqué contained the heart of the Bougainville peoples' wish.

He said the meeting asked Mr. Akoitai to convey to Mr. Skate that he consider the contents of the communiqué first.

The leaders, while reaffirming their commitment to push for the BRG to be set up, also reaffirmed their commitment to achieve that goal through peaceful means.

The communiqué read: "The leaders of BTG and the BIG, acknowledging recent developments detrimental to the peace process, which have happened on the floor of Parliament in Port Moresby and concern for the future of the peace process held consultative talks in Arawa Re-commit themselves to:

1. a) Pursue lasting peace by peaceful means, consistent with the terms of their undertakings contained in the Burnham and Buin Declarations, and the Lincoln Agreement.

b) Uphold and protect the terms of the cease-fire agreement currently in force on Bougainville, especially the conditions for the engagement of third parties involvement in the resolution of the conflict.

c) Continue to maintain openness, transparency and consultation with the government of Papua New Guinea in resolving issues raised in those agreements and declarations.

2. The leaders therefore jointly declare:

a) the establishment under constitution of the Bougainville Reconciliation, a Bougainville People's Congress, by December 31, 1998.

b) the adoption of the Constitution of the BRG by December 22, 1998.

c) their rejection of the imposition of the reforms on Bougainville intended to come into effect on January 1, 1999.

3. The leaders call on the Government of Papua New Guinea to agree to a leaders' meeting to discuss details for the establishment of the congress, and the political future of Bougainville.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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