Unaddresses Trauma In Bougainville Needs To Be Addressed

PNG, Autonomous government, Australia called on to work for reconciliation

By Barney Orere

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 25, 2016) – The State, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and Australia have been called on to address the trauma that remains untreated since the cessation of hostility on Bougainville because no real progress will be achieved on the island without the nation coming together in reconciliation.

Thirteen  Bougainvilleans representing a cross section of church and community groups have just concluded a two-week visit to Daru in the Western Province for a conference.

The tour led by Pastor Albert Magoi, Chairman of God’s Kingdom Network Partners, Bougainville, has achieved an amazing feat.

A reconciliation was made with the families of Western Province soldiers killed in Bougainville before the church conference started.  This was the suggestion of Pastor Albert and it went down well with the multitude of people who witnessed the exchange of peace in typical Melanesian fashion: hugging, shaking hands and shedding a few tears.

October 10 will be long remembered as a day emotion-charged Daru Island came to a standstill; a true eye opener. Pastor Francis Lasa of the United Church, the Solomon Islands, joined the Bougainville delegation.

Several speakers heralded the occasion as the coming of true peace to families who had lived so long with trauma. Pastor Albert said the healing was so obvious and the human emotion so starkly powerful that they are calling on the PNG Government, ABG and Australia to recognize the situation and address it as a matter of urgency.

Sick people experienced instant healing and many people turned to Christ, Pastor Albert said.

“There are many scars on Bougainville and there are scars all over PNG because we fought ourselves and caused injury to ourselves. Unless this scar is healed, real progress will be made in determining the future of Bougainville. We see the difficulties that are being experienced and put this down to a spiritual problem that needs addressing,” he said yesterday while in transit to Bougainville.

“Who would have thought it possible that finding real peace on Bougainville would mean Bougainvilleans ending up in Daru, Western Province, except God Himself”, continued Pastor Albert.

“The Churches are usually expected to be at the forefront in peace work. But for about 25 years since the conflict on Bougainville ended, there has been no real reconciliation at the national level for Papua New Guinea to forgive itself. True peace can only come from Heaven and the hand of God moving in the Daru experience to restore the nation is so real we’re making the call for action to be taken at the official level, ASAP.”

Said Pastor Albert: “The convention in Daru was about how the network partners can transform villages by holding hands. We achieved this for all Bougainville; seeing each other’s face, shaking hands and talking freely. There’s pace on Daru now and we can move forward with the Church network’s vision.’’

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