BOUGAINVILLE SAYS IMMUNITY NO OBSTACLE FOR AUSSIES

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Mar. 16) – Bougainville People’s Congress P

resident Joseph Kabui yesterday announced that his assembly fully welcomes the Australian Federal Police into Bougainville despite "hold ups".

Mr Kabui said on behalf of BPC and all Bougainvilleans, the issue of immunity was irrelevant and would not affect the Australian police on the island.

"We welcome the Australian Federal Police contingent as advisers and trainers to assist in the development and training of a Bougainville Police force. By accepting and integrating them as advisers and trainers, any issues in relation to the immunity problem that was dogging the issue elsewhere in PNG would become irrelevant as the responsibility for any police actions would then rest with the existing members of the Bougainville police force," Mr Kabui said.

"If the Australian Government were to accept this solution, the next step would be for the BPC to seek international donor aid for the construction of an academy to ensure ongoing training for the island police.

"Prior to the blockade, the high level of respect for the law that we experienced on Bougainville was the envy of all provinces, and if such generous and positive help were to eventuate it would not take long before those pre-blockade levels of security were re-established.

"This was the sort of positive aid that was necessary to rebuild and reinvigorate Bougainvillean society and it’s economy and bring a future to our children."

March 16, 2004

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/

 

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