AUSTRALIAN WARNED OVER PROBLEM-MAKERS IN BOUGAINVILLE

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By Vikki John

BOUGAINVILLE, Papua New Guinea (August 9, 1999)---High Commissioner David Irvine has been cautioned that work done by the Australian Government on Bougainville could be destroyed by funding projects or individuals creating problems.

The warning was sounded by Bougainville People's Congress President Joseph Kabui when commending Irvine on his involvement in the island's reconstruction development and efforts for lasting peace.

Kabui did not detail the projects or the individuals but said there were sensitive areas in the Bougainville conflict which could not be answered by restoration and redevelopment alone.

"The key principles that will make or break the process are self-government and a referendum or a vote on the political future of Bougainville,'' Kabui said. "I hope the new Morauta Government is not distracted from these fundamental issues through the establishment of the Bougainville peace and restoration office.''

He said he trusted that Sir Mekere Morauta was not being poorly advised by those who claimed to be experts.

"What we need is a Prime Minister who will listen to the voice of Bougainville people as expressed through the BPC."

Kabui told Irvine on behalf of the people of Bougainville that they were proud to have been associated with the people of Australia.

Kabui said future links would be strengthened by the shared experiences in managing the Bougainville conflict.

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