PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (March 24, 2000 – Radio Australia)---There has been a breakthrough on the future of Bougainville. In a landmark move, the Papua New Guinea government says it acknowledges the aspirations for a binding referendum on independence as called for by Bougainville's leaders.

As a first stage however, under the Loloate Understanding signed in Port Moresby by the PNG government and Bougainville leaders, a Bougainville Interim Provincial government will be established.

The Understanding was signed by PNG's Bougainville Affairs Minister Sir Michael Somare, Bougainville Governor John Momis, Bougainville People's Congress President Joseph Kabui and Leitana Council of Elders Chairman Joel Banam.

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