27 Nov 2006

Time right for Fiji ex-soldiers to leave province, says Bougainville president

5:18 pm on 27 November 2006

The acting president of the Autonomous Bougainville Government in Papua New Guinea says the time is right for five former Fiji soldiers to leave the province.

Joseph Watawi says the ABG has gone to great lengths to get the five supporters of money scam operator Noah Musingku out of Bougainville.

Three of the five were reportedly injured, along with Mr Musingku, in last week's deadly shootout near Tonu.

The Tonu fight, spearheaded by the Buin Freedom fighters, saw Mr Musingku's U-Vistract base attacked, leaving four of his bodyguards as well as one of the attackers dead.

The Fijians have been in Bougainville illegally since last year and Mr Watawi says they are not wanted in the province.

"Well I hope with the incident last week, that the foreign Fijian nationals in Tonu would make it their choice to actually come out now after all the times we have actually requested them to come out, to the extent where we sent a ministerial delegation to go down to Tonu, talk to them and get them out of there. So I hope with this incident they should actually make up their mind and just get out."