BOUGAINVILLE PRESIDENT NIXES ‘KABUI MODEL’

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Resource plan not in country’s best interest

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 30, 2010) - Bougainville’s master exploration and development agreement between the Autonomous Bougainville Government and Bogenvil Resource Development Corporation (BRDC) known as the Kabui Model may face the axe in the coming months.

ABG President John Momis yesterday announced that he had already looked at some confidential records/information documents on BRDC and was dissatisfied.

He said in a nutshell the BRDC Agreement did not represent the interest of all Bougainvilleans because it called for a private company to work with Bougainvilleans for the exclusive control of exploration for and exploitation of the mineral resources covering all of Bougainville.

It also calls for the company, Invincible, to have the exclusive rights to engage in other forms of economic activity across Bougainville.

The agreement called for the establishment of a PGK20 million [US$7 million] trust fund to be supervised by a board of trustees, the accounting of the disbursement of these funds had never been regularized and there was no approved audit as to the uses of these funds including an amount of PGK5 million [US$1.7 million] that was paid to the Bougainville Veterans Office and also called for payment to the ABG of US$5 million or US$1.250 million each quarter for the rights and benefits BRDC would receive under this contract.

"Since assuming the presidency two weeks ago I have had the opportunity of reviewing some of the official documents relating to this transaction.

"I am not satisfied that the arrangements are in the best interest of the people of Bougainville.

"I have concerns too that the agreement contravenes significant provisions of the Bougainville Constitution and provisions of parts of the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the PNG Constitution that implements it.

"As president and together with my colleagues in Cabinet we are dissatisfied with these developments," Mr. Momis said.

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