Bougainville disappointed as PNG ‘fails to meet obligations’
25 November 2017
BUKA - The Autonomous Bougainville Government has been consistently let down by the PNG national government by its continued deferral of meetings to engage on important matters relating to the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
Bougainville President John Momis said this treatment was unacceptable given that the ABG is a legitimate autonomous government afforded specific constitutional powers.
“The national government has consistently failed to meet its obligations under the peace agreement,” Dr Momis said.
“The peace agreement established a Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) as the primary mechanism through which the ABG and the national government must consult and resolve disputes,” he added.
“But I am disappointed that the national government has failed to respect the role of the JSB instead using it as a rubber stamp to push through its own views at the expense of the Bougainville people.
“After 12 years of autonomous government we are still constrained in our ability to govern effectively because of the inaction of the national government,” Dr Momis said.
“The JSB has not yielded anything of substance except for the negotiation of several drawdown powers and the implementation of some high impact projects.”
The next JSB meeting is set down for 14-15 of December but the two governments are still at loggerheads over the formula to pay Bougainville outstanding grants and other funding worth K1.2 billion.
Dr Momis said the ABG’s main focus for the meeting will be on preparations for the referendum on Bougainville’s political future scheduled for June 2019.
The national government’s slowness in addressing the terms of the JSB and the peace agreement has greatly hindered the ABG’s progress.
Despite these setbacks Dr Momis said he was pleased with the momentum built up by the ABG’s Department of Peace Agreement Implementation.
“In spite of these seemingly dark times I call on the people of Bougainville to focus on the noble ambition of self-determination and to commit to achieving our ultimate goal,” Dr Momis said.
Being from Bougainville, I'm equally disappointed by the PNG government's inaction.
To me the Joint Supervisory Body [JSB] is just another of those fancy-worded bodies set aside by both the Bougainville Autonomous Government and National Government supposedly to cater for Bougainville's autonomy and referendum on its political future.
To date, Bougainville is struggling and Papua New Guinea is too complacent.
From another angle, it seems the PNG government does not want Bougainville to achieve its dream of being an independent entity.
I'm saying this because of its delaying tactics in disseminating the promised grants aimed at fast-tracking Autonomous Government projects.
The PNG government should be making the Bougainville issue as its top priority other than the APEC 2018 preparations.
The PNG government must now willingly provide funds to rebuild and rehabilitate Bougainville in all matters like infrastructure and the economy that it destroyed during the civil war.
America did that after it annihilated Japan in World War II.
We can't deny that the PNG government has drawn down certain political powers to Bougainville but, without supportive grants, these powers will not serve their purpose on Bougainville.
Posted by: Michael Geketa | 25 November 2017 at 01:34 PM