Monday 30th August marked the 20th anniversary of the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) an agreement that was signed twenty years ago in 2001, by the people of Bougainville and by the governments of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea.
And the day did not go wasted as the community in and around Bougainville gathered at their own areas to pay respect to those who fought hard and long for peace to be restored and who have now passed on and to those who are patriots of peace building and still live amongst us.
The community at the Buka district,Tsitalato Constituency, North Region, also gathered on Monday at Hahela to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
It was a day of celebration as churches from different denominations combined and sang hymns of peace and unity. Students from different schools in the Tsitalato Constituency also attended the morning service, which was held at the Hahela Parish.
Vice President and Minister for Trade and Commerce, ABG, Hon. Patrick Nisira reminded all about the very reason the people of Bougainville must celebrate.
“The true reason why we are here today to celebrate the anniversary of the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) is because we as Bougainvilleans have maintained and sustained peace for the last twenty years. This is the true reason of why we celebrate the anniversary of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.”
“After having fought the war and after having reconcile and going through a very dark period we have agreed to end the conflict when we signed the peace agreement, he said.
Hon. Patrick Nisira said that there were a lot of challenges faced by the people of Bougainville during the first fifteen years and there were a lot of issues with implementing the pillars under the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) that included the transfer of powers (Autonomy), the weapons disposal and the conduct of the referendum.
He said that it was because of the people’s resilience built over the years and their steadfast contributions to peace building in the region, that has resulted in the drawdown of many powers and functions from the National Government; the weapons disposal and weapons free declarations that took place right across Bougainville and the conduct of a successful 2019 Bougainville referendum.
“With this I want to congratulate the people of Bougainville for maintaining peace thus far.”
Vice Minister for Bougainville Affairs and Regional Member Hon. Peter Tsiamalili Jnr was one of the guest speakers along with the Attorney General and Minister for Bougainville Independence Mission Hon Ezekiel Massat.
Representing the Chief Secretary and Deputy Chief Secretary was the Acting Secretary for Bougainville Independence Mission Ms Stephanie Elijah.
Member for Tsitalato Hon. John Bosco Ragu welcomed all the dignitories and public to celebrate at his constituency.
Some important dignitaries included the politicians, senior public servants and heads of departments.
The celebrations went through the evening with the traditional dances and other performances.
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