The referendum also responds to more historical ambitions by many Bougainvilleans to be independent. Voting in the Pacific island of Bougainville's referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea (PNG) will be held between Nov. 23 and Dec. 7, the referendum commission said. Conflict over the Panguna mine became the primary trigger for the Bougainville Civil War (1988–1998), which resulted in the deaths of up to 20,000 people. In a referendum linked to a peace agreement that ended a civil war between separatists and Papua New Guinea security forces nearly 20 years ago, nearly 98 percent of … Polling for Bougainville's independence referendum gets underway today. A ten-year civil war was the result. The Bougainville Civil War, also known as the Bougainville Conflict, was an armed conflict fought from 1988 to 1998 between Papua New Guinea and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), who were fighting for independence. The results were met with celebration in Bougainville, where the results were announced in the city of Buka. The nearly unanimous results exceeded what regional analysts had expected and could accelerate the independence movement, complicating diplomatic relations across the region. Death, even among neighbours, can mean very little. "For me personally, it's my father who's always been a strong supporter of peace … and supporter of making sure everyone in the community were able to have a voice.". The autonomous region was once home to the world's largest open-cut copper mine at Panguna, which provided up to 45 per cent of PNG's export profits. The vote is non-binding and the government of Papua New Guinea has the final say on what becomes of Bougainville. "We don't want to set a precedent for the other 21 provinces. The mine has remained closed despite controversial attempts to reopen it in recent years. For Bougainville — an area with huge mineral wealth and 250,000 people — the vote also makes it much harder for Papua New Guinea to move slowly through the consultation period required under the 2001 peace agreement that provided a pathway to independence. The scheduled two weeks of voting ended earlier than expected, with many Bougainvilleans casting their vote just days after polling stations opened. Follow our live coverage from day one of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, By PNG correspondent Natalie Whiting in Bougainville and Pacific Beat staff. Parliament, then I imagine China would be very quick to offer its support in many ways, with aid, trade and investment,” said Mr. Pryke. Negotiations between PNG and Bougainville about the road forward will now begin and could continue for years, and the PNG Parliament will have the final say. "To see them back in their own village, to meet them and be part of what they see as the next step in their future was incredibly special.". That war saw the secessionist Bougainville Revolutionary Army … Out of a population of 160,000, as many as 10,000 died as a result of the blockade, or were shot—three times the number killed during the troubles in Northern Ireland. Up to 20,000 people, or about 10 per cent of Bougainville's population, died during the Bougainville Civil War, fought from 1988 to 1998. Up to 20,000 people, or about 10 per cent of Bougainville's population, died during the Bougainville Civil War, fought from 1988 to 1998. Decades after the region's bloody civil conflict, the people of Bougainville will today start casting their votes in a referendum on whether they should seek independence from Papua New Guinea. This long-awaited referendum was at the heart of the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement, which marked the official end to a bloody civil war that lasted from 1988 to 1997. Voting was also made available to Bougainvilleans working on mine sites around PNG and those working in Australia and Solomon Islands. A number of raskol (criminal) gangs that were affiliated with the BRA, equipped largely with weapons salv… SYDNEY, Australia — The region of Bougainville, a collection of islands in the South Pacific, has voted overwhelmingly to become independent from Papua New Guinea, aiming to become the world’s newest nation. CANBERRA, Australia, Sep 29 2020 (IPS) - Ishmael Toroama, a former revolutionary leader and fighter during the decade long civil war which engulfed the remote islands of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the 1990s, has been elected the autonomous region’s new President ahead of high-level talks about its political future. The autonomous Papua New Guinea region's non-binding referendum is the ultimate provision of 2001's Peace Agreement which formally ended hostilities in Bougainville's civil war. The brutal murder mystery haunting the island of Bougainville, Bougainville may become the world's newest nation — here's what you need to know, 'A lot of hatred, a lot of pain': Bougainville survivors find hope with historic referendum. The Bougainville Peace Agreement granted the region more autonomy, and those who opposed secession hoped the pact’s lengthy timeline — allowing for a nonbinding referendum on independence within 20 years — would also prompt Papua New Guinea’s government to develop an equitable revenue-sharing deal for the mine, along with other services that might build loyalty to the central government. The poll was a key part of a nearly 20-year-old peace agreement, which brought an end to a bloody civil war in the region. All or most of the voting was closely watched by several groups of observers, including a team of 11 sent by the Australian Government and led by the former Australian MP Jane Prentice, who has her own very personal connection to the region. PNG and Bougainville are now expected to hold negotiations and present an option for the PNG Parliament to vote on. Members of the Bougainville Women's Federation cheering Wednesday after hearing that voters in a referendum overwhelmingly supported independence from Papua New Guinea. The referendum is an important step in the peace process between groups on Bougainville and Papua New Guinea, following the bloody Bougainville Civil War. "My husband was involved in the peace arrangements and the conflict resolution. In May 1990, Papua New Guinea imposed a blockade on Bougainville. Observers have said that the clear result makes it difficult for Papua New Guinea to … The results are astonishing: 98.3 percent voted for independence (1.7 percent voted for more autonomy). Bougainville remains part of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and has four elected representatives in the PNG national parliament. At the time, the Panguna open cut mine was the largest in the world. The war has been described as the largest conflict in Oceania since the end of World War II, with an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 Bougainvillean dead. Now, Bougainville has the potential to become the world’s newest nation, defining its own destiny and opening itself up to diplomatic and economic partnerships with nations that have shown increased interest in the Pacific as of late — including the United States and China. “I can imagine they’d be very proactive.”, Bougainville Votes for Independence From Papua New Guinea. “It puts the P.N.G. NSW recorded nine COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, including eight linked to the Avalon cluster, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says Greater Sydney will now revert to pre-Christmas restrictions, She also announced minor changes to pre-Christmas restrictions in the northern beaches. Ever wondered why we call today Boxing Day? Francis Onaresponded by unilaterally declaring independence. That will be our firm position". Bougainville Civil War also known as Bougainville Conflict was a conflict that was fought from 1988 to 1998 in which autonomous region of Papua New Guineaball, Bougainvilleball on a failed attempt to be an independent country. "We don't want any part of Papua New Guinea to break away," Sir Puka told Pacific Beat last month. Violence shut down the mine in 1989 and a nine-year war claimed the lives of 20,000 people. Follow our live coverage for the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic. CANBERRA, Australia, Sep 29 (IPS) - Ishmael Toroama, a former revolutionary leader and fighter during the decade long civil war which engulfed the remote islands of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the 1990s, has been elected the autonomous region's new President ahead of high-level talks about its political future. The general election was the first since Bougainville voted overwhelmingly for ... of little economic progress after a decade-long civil war that claimed as many as 20,000 lives. But little tax revenue seemed to make it back to Bougainville. The nearly unanimous results in the Pacific islands chain exceeded expectations and could both accelerate independence and complicate relations across the region. A large proportion of the population was displaced and up to 20,000 people died as a result of the conflict. The mine began production in 1972 under the management of Bougainville Copper Ltd, with Papua New Guinea as a 20% shareholder. In a referendum linked to a peace agreement that ended a civil war between separatists and Papua New Guinea security forces nearly 20 years ago, nearly 98 percent of those who voted supported becoming an independent nation. "I was a little girl as this was being talked about. The referendum holds huge emotional significance for many Bougainvilleans. It provided over 45% of Papua New Guinea's national export revenue and was incredibly important to the economy. Out of 181,067 ballots, 176,928 votes were cast for independence. Central to the conflict that led to the vote was Bougainville's rich resources. The deputy speaker of Bougainville's Parliament, Francesca Semoso, said she was emotional when she cast her vote last month. An anti-war movement evolved on Bougainville during the mid-1990s, spearheaded by womens’ groups, NGOs, and the church. In 1997, negotiations mediated by New Zealand began between the PNG government and secessionist leaders. government has squandered its opportunity,” said Wesley Morgan, a fellow at Griffith University’s Asia Institute in Queensland, Australia. government could have found a way to justify really stretching this out and having a period of negotiation that could last years or decades. “If the process plays out to a point where Bougainville is ceded its independence by the P.N.G. [8] PNGDF casualties during the fighting were believed to include more than 300 killed. Bougainville Referendum Commission chair Bertie Ahern said on Tuesday the vote was conducted "in an environment that was conducive to a free, fair and credible process". The poll was a key part of a nearly 20-year-old peace agreement, which brought an end to a bloody civil war in the region. Fighting between the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) and PNG government forces developed into a full-blown civil war, which saw an estimated 20,000 … “The P.N.G. "It's been a long time coming," she told the ABC. The referendum was a result of a 2001 agreement between the government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government that ended a civil war fought from 1988 to 1998. To ensure everyone enrolled had a chance to vote, referendum officials visited people in hospitals and police cells. The civil war that subsequently broke out between the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, Papua New Guinean forces and other pro-PNG militias in Bougainville saw the mine shut down in 1989. With such a resounding vote for self-determination, Bougainville has become a visible inspiration for other independence movements in the Pacific, from West Papua, which is seeking to secede from Indonesia, to New Caledonia, which will hold a referendum next year about possibly breaking away from France. The Bougainville civil war raged for a decade after indigenous landowners, incensed by environmental devastation and inequities associated with the Rio Tinto majority-owned Panguna copper mine, waged an armed campaign to shut the mine down. 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Bougainville has voted overwhelmingly to seek independence from Papua New Guinea, with more than 97 per cent in favour of autonomy. A peace agreement resulted in the creation of the Autonomous Bougainville Government. That process could take several years, and PNG's Minister for Bougainville, Sir Puka Temu, said his Government was firm in its desire to hold on to the island. Bougainville Revolutionary Army leader Francis Ona, barefoot and wearing a bush hat, in 1994 during the decade-long civil war in the archipelago. Its economic grievances led the region to declare independence, or try to, in 1975. Countries like Australia and New Zealand will also now find themselves squeezed — likely facing pleas for assistance from Bougainville to develop its institutions, and resistance from Papua New Guinea, which has never been eager to give up Bougainville’s bounty. The relationship between Bougainville and Papua New Guinea was never good, and, in the late 1980s, environmental and economic concerns related to the mining industry on the island led to a revolt by the Bougainville Revolutionary Army against the national government of Papua New Guinea. “If there were to be a smaller majority, say 55 or 65 percent, the P.N.G. The political structure of Bougainville as an autonomous region within Papua New Guinea reflects the important need, following the civil war, for parliamentary representation of different interest groups. The mine br… Despite the outcome of the vote, the future of Bougainville is still uncertain. 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. [61] The population of the province is approximately 300,000 (2019 census), which includes islets such as the Carterets. Photograph: … 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. The Bougainville Peace Agreement Later this year the island will vote in a referendum on greater autonomy or independence from PNG. The islands have struggled against Papua New Guinea’s rule since the 1970s. The Bougainville Civil War is considered the largest conflict to have occurred in Oceania since World War Two. Assisted by moderate leaders on all sides, Bougainville’s burgeoning civil society was able to slowly develop a framework for peace. That special status was granted to the islands during negotiations that followed a bloody, decade-long civil war. Many felt mining profits were not being shared fairly between PNG and Bougainville — or even between different landowner groups at the mine site — while pollution from the Panguna operation also created tension. Bougainville Island (Tok Pisin: Bogenvil) is the main island of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville of Papua New Guinea.It formed the main landmass of the German Empire-associated North Solomons.Its land measures 9,300 km 2 (3,600 sq mi). The discovery of vast copper ore deposits in Bougainville's Crown Prince Range in 1969 led to the establishment of a huge copper mine by the Australian company Conzinc Rio Tinto. That is like a quarter of a million New Zealanders dying in a civil war that lasted almost twice as long as World War Two. 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