SIR MEKERE: NO TROOP BUILDUP ON BOUGAINVILLE

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (August 30, 2000 – Post-Courier)---The Prime Minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, said comments by the Acting Opposition Leader, Peter Peipul, that there was a buildup of troops on Bougainville were false and irresponsible.

"Mr. Peipul's inflammatory comments in Parliament today put at risk the peace process that his own parliamentary leader started," Sir Mekere said.

"There is no troop build-up. The government has no intention of increasing the presence of troops or police on Bougainville. In fact, we hope to do exactly the opposite as far as troops are concerned.

"The government's only intention as far as Bougainville is concerned is to maintain the three-year peace there and to complete political settlements granting the highest possible autonomy as soon as possible.

"We intend to help them to continue to rebuild their lives and to continue to restore the provision of essential and basic services

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

 

'EXPAT THREATENED BOUGAINVILLEAN': AKOITAI

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (August 30, 2000 – The National)---Central Bougainville Member of Parliament Sam Akoitai claimed during question time yesterday that an expatriate attempted to force a hand grenade down the throat of a Bougainvillean, threatening to kill him.

Mr. Akoitai told Parliament that the incident happened on August 15, and the expatriate was engaged by a construction company on Bougainville.

He asked if the Bougainville Affairs Minister and the Prime Minister were aware of the incident.

Sir Michael Somare was not available to respond. However, Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said he was not aware of the incident. But he added that the incident was very serious.

"We have had enough problems on Bougainville and we do not want outsiders creating problems there," Sir Mekere said.

He added that he will ask the Minister (Sir Michael) to provide him the details so he may take action.

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

Provided by Vikki John ( VIKKI@law.uts.edu.au

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