Bougainville has voted overwhelmingly to seek independence from Papua New Guinea, with more than 97 per cent in favour of autonomy. Yet there’s few outward signs of PTSD. Their defiance was quickly suppressed, and the region was incorporated into independent Papua New Guinea, but by the end of the 1980s, tensions related to Bougainville's enormous copper … Why are thousands of Indian farmers protesting? Gianluca Rampolla, the United Nations resident coordinator in PNG. The vote caps a 2001 peace deal that ended a brutal decade-long war between Bougainville rebels, PNG security forces and foreign mercenaries. “There’s been massive investment in terms of awareness-raising to ensure that the expectations of the voters be managed, to ensure that the understanding of the process be clear,” said Gianluca Rampolla, the United Nations resident coordinator in PNG. About 207,000 Bougainvilleans are registered to vote on whether Melanesian isles will become world’s newest country. The referendum is a centrepiece of the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement, which ended the longest-running conflict in the Pacific since the Second World War. (CNN)An autonomous region of Papua New Guinea has voted overwhelmingly to leave the country and form a new independent nation, authorities announced on Wednesday. Joyous voters in the Pacific island chain of Bougainville cheered and sang as they flocked to the polls Saturday at the start of a long-awaited referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea. Bougainville women’s rep and proud mother Gertrude Gaunara said she was emotional when the results were announced. The referendum has been a long time coming. Women and children wear traditional dress at a referendum polling station in Buka, Bougainville, on November 25, 2019. EX-TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern has declared a landslide referendum vote backing Bougainville’s independence from Papua New Guinea. “I was watching it live on my phone. Bougainville, formerly an Australian colonial territory, has had a fractious relationship with Papua New Guinea since joining the country in 1976. Supporters of full independence are expected to win handily, although without reliable opinion polls, a surprise is always possible. Mohin said he and other activists will begin building the region's economy, educational system, and health services, in preparation for an independent future. Bougainville has voted overwhelmingly to seek independence from Papua New Guinea. IT was an emotional day for Bougainvilleans when the results of the referendum showed most people were in favour of independence. They are among the poorest in the southern hemisphere and the need for cash to build infrastructure, develop institutions and balance the books “creates an opportunity for actors like China to get involved”, said Jonathan Pryke of Sydney’s Lowy Institute. Supporters of full independence are expected to win handily, although without reliable opinion polls, a surprise is always possible. “I am so happy,” said 54-year-old Olitha Mokela. Polls will stay open for two weeks to ensure those in remote villages have a say, with a result expected in December. The choice before voters is between an enhanced version of the current autonomy arrangements or independence. But the territory has historically shared a closer affinity with the neighbouring Solomon Islands than PNG. "We just want everybody to respect our people's choice and give us what we want," he said. Polls will stay open for two weeks to ensure those in remote villages have a say, with a result expected in December. 176,928 votes for independence have been recorded out of 181,067 ballots. Some remarked that days of heavy rain preceding Saturday’s vote were a sort of “baptism” for a community that still vividly remembers the pain of conflict. The Bougainville War, or ‘Crisis’ as the locals understate it, claimed an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 lives between 1988 and 1998. "That's all.". Preparations for the voting were peaceful, and in recent weeks once-sworn enemies have taken part in tearful reconciliation ceremonies, where arrows were snapped to symbolise the end of a vicious conflict. An autonomous region in Papua New Guinea, Bougainville is aiming for independence and elected a president who shares that ambition. Since French explorer Louis de Bougainville arrived on the palm-fringed archipelago more than 200 years ago, control passed in turn from Germany to Australia, Japan and the United Nations before administration was handed over to Port Moresby. "People have been waiting for the opportunity to cast their vote for a long time. The mine, unused for 30 years and its infrastructure and equipment stolen or trashed, will require a decade and billions of dollars to restitute. John Momis, Bougainville regional president, cautioned excited voters on Saturday that the referendum was only one step in a long process and urged patience. Bougainville is an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea. Many factors will need to be considered -- for instance, the terms of trade, travel, and residence. On September 1, 1975, the people of Bougainville raised the flag and declared independence as the Republic of the North Solomons. Some in the region worry that the Papua New Guinea government will push back and try to block the secession -- Mohin accused the mainland of wanting to "keep the resources on the island.". Next, the Bougainville and Papua New Guinea governments will need to meet and negotiate details for a new relationship. Bougainville votes on independence from Papua New Guinea. Last December the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, an area in Papua New Guinea (PNG), voted in a referendum for independence, a move motivated by a history of violence and conflict. About 207,000 Bougainvilleans are registered to vote on whether Melanesian isles will become world’s newest country. Joyous voters in the Pacific island chain of Bougainville cheered and sang as they flocked to the polls Saturday at the start of a long-awaited referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea. The 20-year itch Bougainville has voted for independence, but may not get it The restive province of Papua New Guinea has waited since 2001 for a referendum Asia Dec 18th 2019 edition However, the vote indicated such an overwhelming demand for independence that Papua New Guinea may have difficulty brushing it aside, Peake said. Afghan gov’t, Taliban announce breakthrough deal in peace talks, Kurd vs Kurd: Fears of full-scale war rise in northern Iraq, Al Jazeera Centre for Public Liberties & Human Rights. A ceremony to announce the results of Bougainville's historic referendum opened with a chorus of the Bougainville anthem. recent weeks once-sworn enemies have taken part in tearful reconciliation ceremonies, where arrows were snapped to symbolise the end of a vicious conflict. Voters gather at a polling station in Buka to cast their ballot in the Bougainville independence referendum. But rejection would risk rekindling former feuds and destroying the peace process. They wanted to make sure the issue of fighting for independence was put to rest. A referendum, 20 years in the making, is underway to decide whether the small island of Bougainville in the south west Pacific will seek full independence from Papua New Guinea (PNG). Bougainville has waited a very long time for her independence, which was again expressed last year in the referendum vote, where 97.7% of the Bougainville people voted for independence. The simple fact is… Bougainville independence campaigners are bracing for this next step; the copper mine, estimated to be worth $58 billion, has long been a point of territorial contention. ", When asked if the issue was now resolved, he gave an emphatic "Yes.". “While many are expecting an overwhelming vote for independence, what that would look in terms of building an economy and breaking away from Papua New Guinea isn’t entirely clear yet,” Al Jazeera’s Nicola Gage, reporting from the PNG capital, Port Moresby, said. Chairman of the Central Bougainville Events Committee and Kieta District Executive Manager Tonny Moera said over the years there was never much emphasis on the celebrations. Two weeks before Papua New Guinea was scheduled to gain independence from Australia in 1975, leaders in Bougainville tried to opt out by declaring their own independent Republic of the North Solomons. Spectators at the scene whooped and cheered, and a group of women broke into song, said Gordon Peake of the Australian National University, who attended the announcement. Bougainville Independence Day From The Guardian, (Australia) 9 September 1998. Former French President Giscard d’Estaing dies of COVID-19 at 94, US: Biden, top Democrats back bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill, Saudi Arabia, Qatar near agreement in Gulf crisis: Sources, Trump releases video repeating debunked election fraud claims, Trump discussed pre-emptive pardons for family: Reports. Papua New Guinea gained its independence on September 16, but with Australia's assistance, refused to recognise Bougainville's independence. Bougainville independence high on agenda as Ishmael Toroama elected president Leanne Jorari and Ben Doherty. Today many of Bougainville’s 206,000 eligible voters are moving towards one of 800 polling stations across the territory on its first day of voting. About 207,000 Bougainvilleans are registered to vote and decide whether the Melanesian isles will become the world’s newest country. New Zealand is leading an international unarmed police contingent for the vote, backed by fellow witnesses to the 2001 peace agreement: Australia, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. In the meantime, those who campaigned for independence are looking forward. More than 1,000 people waited on Saturday morning to cast their ballots at one polling station in the main city of Buka, as others formed makeshift choirs that stomped through the streets, waving independence flags, blowing bamboo pipes and chanting in chorus. Up to 20,000 people were killed in the fighting, with thousands more displaced from their homes. An autonomous region in Papua New Guinea, Bougainville is aiming for independence and elected a president who shares that ambition. Voting information pamphlets at a polling station in the Bougainville capital Buka on November 22, 2019. " As we celebrate Independence Day for 2019, I want to reflect on the upcoming referendum and the future political path of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. "This referendum has been on people's minds for 20 years," said Peake. Joyous voters in the Pacific island chain of Bougainville cheered and sang as they flocked to the polls Saturday at the start of a long-awaited referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea. There were failed attempts at independence then, before simmering discontent erupted into a nine-year civil war that left thousands of people dead. Who controls that wealth is likely to be vital in determining whether a newly-born Bougainville succeeds. The region is named after Bougainville Island, the largest island of the Solomon Islands archipelago, but also contains a number of smaller islands. News Bougainville votes overwhelmingly for independence from Papua New Guinea . “Another step before that though will take place here in the PNG Parliament, where the government also needs to approve any outcome.”.
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