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RABAUL, Papua New Guinea (January 11, 1999 - The National)---Bougainvilleans will go ahead with running their own government under the new Bougainville Reconciliation Government (BRG) constitution without the signing of the basic agreement with the National Government.

This has come about following successful talks between Bougianville Minister Sam Akoitai and the Bougainville leaders over the weekend, rebel leader Joseph Kabui said.

Mr. Kabui described their talks with Mr. Akoitai yesterday from Arawa as welcoming and one that would put to rest the controversy on the Government's suspension of the reform law on Bougainville.

Mr. Kabui said that during the weekend talks, the Bougainville-based parties to the peace process, including the rebels, agreed with Mr. Akoitai to allow BRG to proceed with the constituent assembly without first signing the basic agreement.

"Our talks with Mr. Akoitai were successful. The main thing we agreed on was to allow the BRG to go on without signing the basic agreement," he said.

The basic agreement was approved by Cabinet the previous Friday after it suspended the minute-old provincial and local level governments to allow a smooth transition of the Bougainville Transitional Government (BTG) to the newly formed BRG within the PNG Constitution.

Mr. Akoitai said, when announcing the draft of the basic agreement, that it was an agreed framework for formal establishment of the BRG, consistent with the views of all parties involved in the peace process.

Prime Minister Bill Skate was supposed to travel to Bougainville last Wednesday to sign the basic agreement.

Mr. Skate's trip, however, did not eventuate as the Bougainville leaders, mainly the Kabui/Sinato led factions, asked for a deferral of the signing to allow them to consult with the Government on the contents of the agreement before the signing, claiming that they were not given any chance to read the contents of the agreement.

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

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