30 Jun 2005

Reconciliation must be priority for new Bougainville Government says chief of departing UN team.

8:31 pm on 30 June 2005

The head of the United Nations observer mission to Bougainville is confident the new government will continue to try and reconcile the parties involved in the years of conflict in the Papua New Guinea province.

Tor Stenbock and his team of five formally ended the UN's seven year involvement in overseeing the peace process on Bougainville today.

Mr Stenbock says he is optimistic about Bougainville's future, but it is vital the Government makes a priority of continuing the reconciliation process.

Mr Stenbock expects it may be difficult and take more time to bring some of the leaders of different factions together, but he says it will come about.

"Because you see the communities here are tired of this uncertainty, and the community pressure on the leaders to reconcile with each other will be brought to bear and that will eventually happen."