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Lessons from Bougainville

OP/ED

The Bougainville crisis did not just happen. The writing, so to speak, was on the wall for a good seven years before violence erupted. Even in the early days of the crisis, the prolonged and bloody nature of it could have been averted, but it was not. The reason for this was really a series of stupid decisions and unforgivable neglect by those in authority at the time in national government and the Bougainville Copper Ltd. The Bougainville Copper Agreement, signed in 1974, had contained within it a provision for a review to occur every seven years. The first opportunity for such a review fell in 1981, but there was no review. Angry reminders were made in the media, and even in parliament, by the member for Bougainville, John Momis.
The crisis started when the second opportunity for a review, 14 years from the signing of the BCA, fell due in 1988 and it looked like nobody was prepared to do it. When the power pylons were felled, Panguna leaders sought the way of peace but, while the …

Lessons from Bougainville

OP/ED

The Bougainville crisis did not just happen. The writing, so to speak, was on the wall for a good seven years before violence erupted. Even in the early days of the crisis, the prolonged and bloody nature of it could have been averted, but it was not. The reason for this was really a series of stupid decisions and unforgivable neglect by those in authority at the time in national government and the Bougainville Copper Ltd. The Bougainville Copper Agreement, signed in 1974, had contained within it a provision for a review to occur every seven years. The first opportunity for such a review fell in 1981, but there was no review. Angry reminders were made in the media, and even in parliament, by the member for Bougainville, John Momis.
The crisis started when the second opportunity for a review, 14 years from the signing of the BCA, fell due in 1988 and it looked like nobody was prepared to do it. When the power pylons were felled, Panguna leaders sought the way of peace but, while the…