3 Dec 2004

Mekamui Movement in PNG bars police, development agencies

2:09 pm on 3 December 2004

Members of the Bougainville Mekamui Movement in Papua New Guinea have maintained roadblocks at the Aropa Airport in an effort to prevent members of the Australian Federal Police from entering the area.

The National newspaper reports Mekamui leader Francis Ona has deployed more men to the area to set up and man the roadblocks at Aropa and Morgan junctions.

The roadblocks are preventing organisations like the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Observer Mission on Bougainville (UNOMB) from providing social services in the area.

A UNDA staff member in Arawa said he had tried to check the status of cocoa nurseries in the No-Go Zone area but Mr Ona's men blocked him.

UNOMB and UNDP representatives said if the situation continues, it would be difficult for them to provide services.

The roadblocks, however, do not affect the movements of Bougainvilleans and business houses are operating normally.