NOOSA - Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama has issues a dramatic statement saying a spate of violent acts and the deterioration of law and order in the autonomous province can no longer be ignored.
Toroama condemned recent senseless acts of murder and arson related to sorcery and payback killings throughout Bougainville.
“I do not see these problems as isolated incidents or crimes that can be justified with due cause,” he said. “No crime can be justified and no crime is above the law.”
The president said that at his inauguration nine months ago he had highlighted strengthened law and order as a pillar of his presidency.
“Within these last nine months law and order problems have risen at an alarming rate,” he said.
“People have assumed they are a law unto themselves where they are judge, jury and executioner.”
Toroama said the actions had forced the government to introduce sterner measures to deal with law breakers who continued to impede development and the journey to political independence.
“These outrageous acts of violence threaten to shake the foundations of our shared commitment to peace and unity but we will not be deterred.
"We must continue working together for the greater good of Bougainville.
“Let us not segregate ourselves and promote an isolationist attitude. This is an issue that must be condemned by everyone.”
He urged people to respect the law and “refrain from resorting to their baser instincts by taking the law into their own hands.
“As we prepare for independence we must ensure our society is safe, the rule of law prevails and people are allowed to be tried before the courts through the proper legal process.”