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Unity is key says Momis as Bougainville mulls referendum


BOUGAINVILLE president Dr John Momis has once again signalled unity as the key ingredient in successfully holding a referendum on independence in the autonomous province.

Dr Momis said that to progress towards self-determination and eventual independence, should it choose that road, the Autonomous Bougainville Government must unite all Bougainvilleans.

“My department is planning a region-wide patrol to visit all districts to discuss government policies and programs but more importantly to hear what our communities are saying,” he said.

“Sometimes our communities cry foul because we have not given them the opportunity to be heard and participate. We need to take heed of the adage ‘united we stand, divided we fall’,” he cautioned.

Dr Momis said the greatest threat to a progressive and vibrant Bougainville is that the people remain polarised in different groups like Mekamui, Kingdom of Papala and Ex-Combatants.

“My appeal is for the people of Bougainville to come under the legally constituted entity – the Autonomous Bougainville Government,” he said.

A positive way forward was shown by the pledge of Mekamui government leaders from Panguna who have started to realign with the ABG.

An event at Panguna late last month witnessed a declaration by Meekamui strongman Moses Pipiro that Panguna will become a weapons–free zone in which all arms will be collected and secured.

“I would like to congratulate the leaders from Panguna and Mekamui, Philip Miriori and his deputy Philip Takaung, for taking the creative initiative to join the ABG and the rest of Bougainville in preparing our people for the referendum,” Dr Momis said.

Dr Momis also extended his congratulations to vice president Patrick Nisira and his departmental secretary James Tanis of the Peace Building and Referendum Department for working with the Mekamui to make this happen.

The president called on other factions of the Mekamui, the Konnou Group and U-Vistract Group to take the same decision and join the ABG. 


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