10 Mar 2005

A formerly disruptive Bougainville road block is now a checkpoint run by the BRA leadership

7:36 pm on 10 March 2005

Unarmed members of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army have taken over a former roadblock at Aropa on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville.

The BRA commander, Ishmael Toroama, is in charge of what is now viewed as a checkpoint at the site of the former roadblock.

Sources say Mr Toroama is ensuring that members of the breakaway Mekamui Defence Force, who were behind the roadblock, do not reinstate it.

The roadblock has targetted Australian police working on Bougainville, but has also prevented New Zealand and PNG police reaching south Bougainville.

The public has always been able to move through the roadblock.

The head of police on Bougainville, Assistant Commissioner Joe Bemu, is expected to visit the checkpoint within the next few days in order to issue an all-clear for police movements.