Bougainville: Origins of the Conflict, and Debating the Future of Large-Scale Mining ANTHONY J. REGAN Introduction The 50-year relationship between large-scale mining (LSM) and local-level politics in Bougainville has been complex and fraught. The PNG government requested the Australian and New Zealand governments to provide a monitoring group to oversee the ceasefire on the island. Hostilities concluded under the Bougainville Peace Agreement in 1998. On 1 September, they issued the 'Unilateral Declaration of Independence of the Republic of North Solomons'. With negotiations with Sandline ongoing and incomplete, Chan ordered the military to invade anyway. They sought international recognition through the United Nations, but were unsuccessful. There was subsequently a rush of commercial activity, with ten enterprises established in 1911. Origins of the Bougainville Conflict is an excerpt from the two-part documentary Paradise Imperfect made in 2000. Australia coronavirus outbreak: PM warns of 'once-in-100 year' crisis By Ben Westcott and Hilary Whiteman, CNN 3/18/2020 Counties where COVID-19 cases are growing fastest [11] It was enforced using UH-1 Iroquois helicopters and Pacific-class patrol boats that had been supplied to PNG as aid by the Australian government in the late-1980s as part of a defence co-operation program underway since independence. Chan decided to abandon attempts at peace, and on 21 March 1996, he gave the go-ahead for an invasion of Bougainville, under new commander of the PNG defence forces, Jerry Singirok. Serero was selected as 'Chairlady' and Ona as General Secretary. The following locations had team sites in 2000 – Arawa, Sirakatau, Buin, Tonu, Wakunai and Buka. In 1981 disputes re-emerged over the status of the mine, which was the basis of the conflict that became violent in 1988. [13] The first official visit from the German administration did not occur until November 1888. By late 1988, cousins and local leaders, Francis Ona and Pepetua Serero, decided to take up arms against the Papuan government. The Panguna mine was established in 1969 and soon become a source of conflict. The SoE places limits on movement and travel, however, commercial flights between Bougainville and Papua New Guinea via Buka Airport (BUA) were resumed on Monday, May 18. Although Chan's government attempted to blame the BRA, a subsequent independent investigation implicated members of the PNG defence force and the resistance militias. The Board Management and Staff of New Dawn FM would like to send Greetings of The referendum will be held no sooner than ten years, and in any case no later than fifteen years, after the election of the autonomous Bougainville Government. After months of keeping the novel coronavirus spread under control, a new outbreak has scared the authorities of a threat bigger than the starting of the grim year. [16] About 220 kilometres (140 mi) of roads had been built by this time, and construction on a hospital for natives had begun. They claimed that the Jaba River had been poisoned, causing birth defects among local people, as well as the extinction of the flying fox on the island and adverse effects on fish and other species. Following targeted attacks on mine employees, the company closed the mine on 15 May 1989. They demanded that the company recognise them as legitimate leaders. 30.04.2011 Source: Solomon Star. [10][17][18][Note 2] The blockade would remain in effect until the ceasefire in 1994 (although it was informally continued for some parts of Bougainville until 1997). Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea (PNG), has been inhabited by humans for at least 29,000 years, according to artefacts found in Kilu Cave on Buka Island.The region is named after Bougainville Island, the largest island of the Solomon Islands archipelago, but also contains a number of smaller islands.. The station, situated in Kieta, was placed directly under the Governor of German New Guinea. [56], A peace agreement was reached in 2001, leading to a roadmap to the creation of an Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG). His village at Kaumumu was attacked and Bowu's severed head was displayed to the local people. In 1910, the New Britain Corporation established a plantation at Toiemonapu. The helicopters were reported to have been maintained and operated by a private company contracted to the PNGDF at the time. Acts of sabotage on the mine and workers’ concerns for safety led to the closure of the mine … Bougainville is an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea (PNG), and is geographically the last island in the Solomon Archipelago island chain. The Bougainville Crisis, Bathurst: Crawford House Press. Nothing now known about Bougainville’s physical environment can support an argument for the natural selection of its peoples' distinctively black pigmentation; therefore a case might be made for social selection, namely an aesthetic (and hence reproductive) preference for black skin. [21], In 1921, the population of Bougainville was recorded at 46,832. Chan resigned and the mercenaries were removed from Papua New Guinean territory. Class Action Complaint for the Violations of the Alien Tort Claims Act. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles established the former German territory as a League of Nations mandate, the responsibility for which was awarded to Australia. Kaona, a former PNGDF military commander, mobilised and led disgruntled landowner’s to sabotage and stage civil war against the PNG Government. Under the terms of the agreement, PNG began to withdraw its soldiers from the island and a multinational Peace Monitoring Group was deployed. Source: Radio New Zealand International. The Australian district officer was based at Kieta and controlled a native police force of 40 constables and five officers. The Bougainville campaign was a series of land and naval battles of the Pacific campaign of World War II between Allied forces and the Empire of Japan, named after the island of Bougainville.It was part of Operation Cartwheel, the Allied grand strategy in the South Pacific.The campaign took place in the Northern Solomons in two phases. Class Action Complaint for the Violations of the Alien Tort Claims Act. The Papuan police, and the army under Jerry Singirok made several arrests, but Ona proved to be elusive. The Australian military administration had adopted a "business as usual" approach and secured the support of the existing German business community. The Peace Monitoring Group (PMG) on Bougainville in Papua New Guinea was brought about by the civil unrest on the island in the 1990s. Around 3,000 years ago, Austronesians associated with the Lapita culture also settled on the islands, bringing agriculture and pottery. [21] Yet the BIG had little power, and the island began to descend into disarray. Bougainville split into several factions, and a civil war began. The conflict showed no signs of ending, and in January 1990, Bougainville Copper announced the mothballing of the Panguna mine. Australian External Territories Minister Charles Barnes was accused of telling the Bougainvillean people they would "get nothing". [24] German ethnographer Richard Thurnwald returned to Buin in 1933 following an earlier visit in 1908. The BRA subsequently undertook retaliatory action in northern Bougainville and on Buka. [3] The discovery of vast copper ore deposits in the Crown Prince Range on Bougainville Island during the 1960s led to the establishment of the huge Bougainville Copper Mine by the Australian company Conzinc Rio Tinto. In their absence, Chan's government entered into negotiations with a group of chiefs from the Nasioi clan, headed by Theodore Miriung, a former lawyer for the Panguna Landowners Association. 31.12.2012. The principles of the truce, enshrined in the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) signed in Arawa on 30 August 2001 which formally ended the war, remain the primary framework to create a lasting peace. However, this too turned out to be a disaster. In 1964, Australian business began the first attempt to explore the island's resources: CRA Exploration, a subsidiary of Australian company Rio Tinto Zinc, began drilling in the Panguna area. He met with Kauona in the Solomon Islands and arranged for a peace conference to be held in Arawa that October, with security provided by an Australia-led South Pacific Peacekeeping Force. Several other village militias, which together became known as the resistance and were armed by the PNG defence forces, forced the BRA out of their areas. On 28 May 1975, the Interim Provincial Government in Bougainville agreed to secede from Papua New Guinea. The outbreak claimed the lives of 55 people and spread in the country’s northwest, in Équateur province, in often remote and extremely difficult-to-access villages. [36] Chan's government subsequently entered into negotiations with a group of chiefs from the Nasioi clan, headed by Theodore Miriung, a former lawyer for the Panguna Landowners Association. Father Albert Binois wrote to his superiors that the Protestants were "friends of the devil". Carteret was also the first European to see Buka Island. The Logistical Support Team (LST) at the Loloho wharf comprised approx. The Australian government has estimated that between 15,000 and 20,000 people have died in the Bougainville Conflict. This resulted in the establishment of a Bougainville Transitional Government in April 1995, with its capital in Buka. BRA strength was estimated at around 2,000 men armed with around 500 modern weapons (mostly captured or bought from PNGDF or "riot squad" personnel) and several thousand World War II vintage or homemade weapons. [12], The Northern Solomons were initially grouped with the Bismarck Archipelago for German administrative purposes. [55], A Bougainville provincial government of the same status as the other eighteen provinces of Papua New Guinea, with John Momis as Governor, was established in January 1999. 100 personnel, was unarmed and wore bright yellow shirts and hats. 1. The SMS Möwe landed 20 members of the native police force armed with bows and arrows, who killed seven people, burned a village, and took its valuables. Francis Ona refused to play any part in the peace process, and, with a small minority of fighters, continued to occupy the area around Panguna mine[citation needed]. It developed all systems and provided a golden opportunity to create a new Bougainville. The command structure set up by the BRA seldom had any real control over the various groups throughout the island that claimed to be part of the BRA. [14] As of 1905, "there was apparently not a single permanent trading post manned by a non-native". Here’s what you need to know about the outbreak. [22] The civil administration "pursued pacification less ferociously than its military predecessor" and recruited Bougainvilleans as interpreters. The main island was named after French admiral Louis Antoine de Bougainville, who reached it in 1768. During this period Australian Defence Force (ADF) loan personnel filled a number of key positions in the PNGDF on a regular basis, and as a result they were often at least indirectly involved in supporting most PNGDF operations, including those on Bougainville. In alliance with the resistance, the Papuan army succeeded in retaking Arawa, the provincial capital, in January 1993. 1), was among the earliest inhabited areas of the Pacific, with evidence of human inhabitation dating back nearly 29,000 years (Ogan 2005: 48). [58][59] Elections for the first ABG were held in May and June 2005 with Joseph Kabui elected president. The economic causes and consequences of the Bougainville crisis Herb Thompson Papua New Guinea has, until most recently, shown all the signs of a newly independent developing economy on the move. Both of these men later became involved directly in the independence movement. [2] During the Last Glacial Maximum, until approximately 10,000 years ago, present-day Bougainville Island was part of a single landmass known as "Greater Bougainville", which spanned from the northern tip of Buka Island to the Nggela Islands north of Guadalcanal. The first punitive expedition undertaken by the German administration occurred in April 1899, in response to the killing of two European seamen in Tinputz Bay the previous year. The Bougainville conflict, also known as the Bougainville Civil War, was a multi-layered armed conflict fought from 1988 to 1998 in the North Solomons Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG) between PNG and the secessionist forces of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), and between the BRA and other armed groups on Bougainville. (Singirok was later an important player in the Sandline affair.) 2019 Bougainvillean independence referendum, Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade 1999, "Battle intensifies over Bougainville copper", "Bougainville at a crossroads: independence and the mine", Agreement between Papua New Guinea and Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Australia and New Zealand, concerning the status of elements of the defence forces of those countries deployed in the North Solomon's Province of Papua New Guinea as part of the South Pacific Peacekeeping Force (1994) PITSE 18 (28 September 1994), "Bougainville – The Man Who Would Be King (Transcript)", "Ona's death paves way for mining to resume", "Bougainville: UN Asks for Invitation to Investigate Mercenaries", "Signing paves way for Bougainville independence vote", "Bougainville referendum: PNG region votes overwhelmingly for independence", "Bougainville referendum: region votes overwhelmingly for independence from Papua New Guinea", "Moral Support? Published in Radical Scotland, 44, Apr/May 1990, Edinburgh, pp. Appendices. [29] For the remainder of the 1970s, and into the early 1980s, relations between the two remained tense, but relatively peaceful. Multiple agreements were signed but were not honoured by any parties. In 1994, Jochim Matruro, an unarmed civilian, was shot by PNG soldiers as he helped an Australian film-maker. [47] A subsequent independent investigation implicated members of the PNGDF and the resistance militias. The region is named after Bougainville Island, the largest island of the Solomon Islands archipelago, but also contains a number of smaller islands. [7] Despite agreeing to disarm and negotiate, Francis Ona, the leader of the BRA, unilaterally declared independence in May 1990. Many of the local landowners were opposed to the mine because it attracted an influx of workers from other parts of PNG. There was no further European contact until 1767, when British naval officer Philip Carteret visited and named the Carteret Islands. The local indigenous people began to air their grievances against the Australian colonial government over the handling of the Panguna mine and protested the inadequate sharing of revenues being generated from mining on their land. [7] However, in early 1990 Papua New Guinea withdrew, leaving Bougainville in the control of the BRA. These embarrassed the PNG government, which arrested more than 20 men in the army after an investigation. by Alastair McIntosh . The ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is now one year old and has killed more than 1,800 people.. Many "white-skins", mostly Australian nationals, also came to work at the mine. In 1972, Australia granted Bougainville some degree of autonomy, but this did not end the secessionist movement. 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