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Media Statement from the Office of the President

Response to the Post Courier article, Thursday 30 December 2021


The Autonomous Bougainville Government and the people of Bougainville are not involved in any secret plot to overthrow the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare.

As President of Bougainville I have made it clear that my government and the people of Bougainville will maintain a neutral stance in the conflict in the Solomon Islands.

Contrary to the sensationalized report in the Post Courier (Thursday December 30, 2021) we do not have a vested interest in the conflict and Bougainville has nothing to gain from overthrowing a democratically elected leader of a foreign nation.

I would like to go on record again to state that the ABG has not sanctioned any support to the factions in the Solomon Islands nor do we condone the alleged involvement of Bougainvilleans in para military activity south of our borders.

Despite our very close ties with the people of the Solomon Islands, my government respects the sovereignty of the Solomon Island and its democratically elected Government.

The Bougainville Peace Agreement also explicitly forbids Bougainville to engage in any foreign relations so it is absurd to assume that Bougainville would jeopardize our own political aspirations by acting in defiance of the provisions of the BPA.

I must caution the national press from sensationalizing issues that concern national security and foreign relations especially with our neighbors within the Pacific.

News organizations reporting on Bougainville issues must avoid sensationalized reporting at all costs as this will prove counterproductive both for the National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

The current Post Referendum Consultations are very important to Bougainville and PNG as it deals with the nation’s sovereignty and the political aspirations of the people of Bougainville through the 97.7 percent Independence vote during the 2019 Referendum.

Bougainville on its own has become a national issue, hence, the Post Referendum period requires a modicum of understanding towards the process and issues involved in Bougainville.

My government and my people remain committed to peace by peaceful means.

Hon. Ishmael Toroama, MHR


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