COMMERCIAL SHIPPING BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND BOUGAINVILLE BEING RE-ESTABLISHED

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (October 13, 1999 – Radio Australia)---Commercial shipping lines between Australia and the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville will be re-established later this month, for the first time in a decade.

A ship of supplies for the international Peace Monitoring Group on the island will leave Australia's Far North after being packed with provisions in the cities of Cairns and Townsville.

Shipping to the once booming port of Loloho was suspended when secessionist fighting broke out on the island in 1989. A truce between Bougainville rebels and the national Papua New Guinea government was signed last year.

An Australian Defense Force spokesman, Squadron Leader Mark Quilligan, said the situation has calmed, allowing commercial activity to resume.

"It's a real accolade to all the players that we're now in a situation where commercial shipping can be restored," he said. "People can gain employment and the role of the Peace Monitors can be reduced."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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