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Bougainville declares new State of Emergency

The Bougainville Caretaker government has declared a new State of Emergency in Bougainville effective as of 15 August 2020, for the next 21 days. 

This follows the lapse of the two months emergency period in Bougainville on 14 August 2020. 

The new State of Emergency was declared under Section 200 of the Bougainville Constitution which authorizes the Bougainville Executive Council to declare an emergency on Bougainville or part of Bougainville.

Unlike previously, the emergency period was only being extended by the Bougainville parliament, however in this instance, in the absence of parliament due to the ABG 2020 Elections, the Bougainville Executive Council has taken the appropriate action to declare a new emergency.

The focus of this newly declared emergency is to allow the Bougainville Health Response Team to continue its efforts to manage the COVID19 situation on Bougainville, following the announcement of Bougainville’s first confirmed COVID19 case a week ago.

Under the new emergency period, the general public is urged to adapt to the ‘new normal’ or ‘Niupela Pasin’ way of social distancing and continued observance of all COVID19 health measures.

All law enforcement agencies will continue to maintain border surveillance at all entry points for both sea and air ports across Bougainville.

Bougainville is also in the middle of conducting its ABG 2020 Elections with polling currently underway across the region. The new emergency period will ensure some measure of control for the voters, polling officials and general public to strictly adhere to all COVID19 health measures during the election period. 

This new State of Emergency in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will be implemented by the Assistant Police Commissioner of the Bougainville Police Service, Francis Tokura. He will be assisted by the Secretary for Health, Clement Totavun.

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