13 Nov 2002

Bougainville Governor warns that island's poor infrastructure threatens peace process

6:17 pm on 13 November 2002

The Bougainville Governor, John Momis is warning the Papua New Guinea government that a continuing decline in public services on Bougainville is jeopardising the peace process.

Mr Momis says the Peace Agreement promised improvements in services such as power and health, but the administration is only receiving a fraction of what it needs.

Governor Momis says ex-combatants such as those within the self-declared independent state of Mekamui are becoming disillusioned with the peace process.

"In the supplementary budget the national government cut Bougainville about two million of our money and that has affected our maintenance of our Buka roads....It's affecting the hospital... This does not augur well for an administration that tries to project a good image to the Mekamui people......Mekamuis are now working very hard to set up more no go zones, and that's affecting the peace process.....It's becoming very very disillusioning for the ex-combatants."

John Momis.

Bougainville has suffered power blackouts for eight months, hospitals are suffering shortages in medicines and staff and remote villages have no access to the main township, Buka, because of the poor state of the road.

Governor Momis says he has a verbal agreement with the government that Bougainville will get further funding.

Last month there were reports that some ex-combatants had taken back guns which had been handed in as part of the weapon surrender programme.