1 Apr 2003

Bougainville leaders say reconciliation between Joseph Kabui and Francis Ona long overdue

4:52 pm on 1 April 2003

The Bougainville Provincial Government wants a reconciliation between former rebel leaders, Francis Ona, and his one time deputy Joseph Kabui.

Mr Ona is the head of the so called Republic of Mekemui in the heart of the PNG island, while Mr Kabui chairs the Bougainville People's Congress.

Governor John Momis says the differences between the two men is adversly affecting the weapons disposal programme which is an essential component of the peace process.

He says reconciliation between the two is long overdue and that the provincial government hopes to have a ceremony before the end of this year.

Last week Mr Kabui said it was up to Mr Ona to make the next move because he had tried on a number of occasions to initiate a reconciliation, but Mr Ona had not responded.

The Post Courier reports Mr Momis saying that a special provincial executive meeting will be called to discuss the reconciliation ceremony and also to review the province's 2003 Budget.