5 Jun 2003

Mekamui region of Bougainville pleas for assistance

6:49 pm on 5 June 2003

There have been calls by people in the so-called No Go zone or Mekamui in Papua New Guinea's Bougainville Island for essential services such as medicine and school supplies to be made available.

The Post Courier says some people in the area are also now starting small business projects such as trade stores and cocoa farms.

It says others are considering planting vanilla but they said there has to be a market for their crops.

The region is controlled by the rebel leader Francis Ona who has refused to participate in the Bougainville peace process.

The people in the No-Go zone would like to see donor agencies visit the area to see what services are needed.

But the agencies would first need the approval of Mr Ona's Mekamui Defence Force.