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Central Bougainville launches Independence-Ready Mission

Central Bougainville launched its regional Constituency Independence Ready Mission Implementation today at the former capital in Arawa Town.

President Ishmael Toroama who officially launched the program said that as the birthplace of the armed struggle for Bougainville’s independence; Central Bougainville must take the responsibility to be independence ready.

President Toroama said there is a historical significance to Central Bougainville becoming independence ready.

Central Bougainville is where the capital of Bougainville used to be in Arawa Town, it is also where the world renowned Panguna Mine was operated.

Prior to the Bougainville Crisis, Central Bougainville had the southern hemisphere’s largest cocoa and coconut plantations and it was basically the economic hub of Bougainville.

The early revolutionary leaders who initiated Bougainville’s fight for independence are from Central Bougainville in the likes of the late Francis Ona and the late former ABG President Joseph Kabui.

President Toroama said that it is the responsibility of all stakeholders on Bougainville to be independence-ready.

He urged the ex-combatants, landowners, business houses and the Mekamui faction to support the government to ensure all constituencies in Central Bougainville are able to meet the benchmarks to be declared independence-ready.

President Toroama said that the overwhelming support by Bougainvilleans who voted in favor of independence during the referendum (97.7 percent) must now materialize through hard work and unity to ensure Bougainville is independence-ready.

He added that despite the consultations being delayed due to circumstances in PNG, Bougainville must not be perturbed by these delays but focus on ground preparations because the bargaining power during consultations will depend on success of the Independence Ready Declaration.

The launching of the Central Bougainville Independence Ready Mission is part of the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s initiative to ensure all its constituencies are independence-ready.

The benchmarks for this initiative are guided by the President’s Six Point Strategy that outlines socioeconomic and political progress in each constituency.

This launch is the second one by the ABG’s Department of Independence Mission Implementation after the initial Bougainville wide launch in North Bougainville; a third regional launch will be held in South Bougainville.

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