BOUGAINVILLE PARTIES DISCUSS DISARMAMENT

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (January 22, 1999 - The National)---Bougainville resistance and rebel leaders met in Arawa on Wednesday to discuss the issues of disarmament and the withdrawal of the Security Forces.

Bougainville administrator John Siau said the meeting, which was chaired by Peace Monitoring Group commander Brigadier Roger Powell, was attended by resistance leader Hilary Masiria and rebel commander Sam Kauona.

Mr. Siau said the meeting was informative and agreed that further talks should be held separately by the rebel and resistance factions, to be followed by a second meeting of all parties.

Mr. Kauona raised the issues of the withdrawal of the Security Forces, as stipulated in the Lincoln Agreement, and the delay in the release of rebel prisoners.

Brig. Gen. Powell said he was satisfied that the first meeting on disarmament had taken place effectively.

He is expected to brief the PNG Defense Force Commander, Brigadier General Jerry Singirok, on the issues discussed.

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

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