30 Dec 2002

The Papua New Guinea government will give a one off grant to establish Bougainville government

6:23 pm on 30 December 2002

The Papua New Guinea government says it will give over 2.5 million US dollars as a one off establishment grant to the new autonomous government of Bougainville.

The Post Courier reports the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare saying that the grant is intended to help the autonomous Bougainville government begin operating effectively.

Earlier, Bougainville leaders said that the provincial island will have its own constitution by the middle of 2003 and that elections for an autonomous government will be held at the same time.

Sir Michael says also that further measures will be introduced to honour the National government's part in the agreed weapons disposal programme with Bougainville.

He says additional funds will be provided to assist ex-combatants and police in the security for UN approved containers storing weapons handed in by former militants.

Sir Michael also says that the government will also financially assist in the re-integration of ex-combatants and communities, the restoration of civil authority and the continuing work of the Bougainville Constitutional Committee.