Funeral Held For Three PNG Soldiers Killed In Bougainville

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Full military honors according trio who died in action 19 years ago

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, June 23, 2015) – Three soldiers who had been missing in action for 19 years have been accorded a military funeral, attended by Government officials including Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio.

The soldiers were attached to the Alpha Company in the First Royal Pacific Islands Regiment when they went missing.

Their remains were repatriated from Bougainville on Sunday.

Defence Force commander Brig-Gen Gilbert Toropo said Cpl Horace Maino from Northern, Pte Jimmy Julah from Wosera in East Sepik, and Pte Raymond Waia from Maprik in East Sepik were on a peace-finding mission in North Bougainville during the height of the crisis on Oct 22, 1996.

They never returned to their camp.

"After enquiries, we found that they had been missing in action," Toropo said.

He said soldiers had a duty to serve God, the Queen and country.

"Crisis is not a good thing we have learnt the hard way. These men have made us proud. They had gone forward in the pursuit of peace knowing very well the dangers that lay ahead," Toropo said.

Sir Michael said the funeral marked the end of a long journey which began 19 years ago.

"I am personally touched by the sacrifice of the three soldiers who were missing in the cause of their duty," he said.

"On behalf of our people and our country and personally from me as a Bougainvillean I extend my profound and sincere condolence to the families, colleagues and friends of the three men.

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