UN TO STAY IN BOUGAINVILLE UNTIL END OF YEAR

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, June 30) - The United Nations has agreed to extend the term of its Observer Mission to the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville until December 31.

The UNOMB was due to leave the island today but the PNG government and Bougainville leaders pleaded that it stay longer.

The Bougainville Minister Sir Peter Barter says the UN has agreed to a further six month extension, but with conditions.

He says these include a demand that there be no further extensions and that the PNG Government in three months produce a plan for how the UN team can leave the island on December 31st.

"As you are probably aware, for a year now we have been putting extensions on extensions on extensions, and I believe they mean what they say now that this is positively the last extension and hopefully we can get the election of the autonomous government through in this time," Barter said.

July 1, 2004

Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com/

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