10 May 2005

Call for displaced Bougainvilleans to be resettled

7:48 pm on 10 May 2005

There's a call for thousands of Bougainvilleans displaced by the conflict of 1988 to 1997 to be helped to return to their villages.

The health minister in the interim government and candidate for the Central Bougainville Women's seat in the upcoming election, Theresa Jaindong, says about 20'000 people who sought protection in Arawa from villages around the Panguna mine remain in the former capital.

Don Wiseman reports from Buka

"Theresa Jaindong says large numbers moved from central Bougainville villages out of fear and mistrust once the fighting began. Many moved into Arawa, seeking the protection of the government there. She says this broke down the structure of families and the villages, and to achieve a sustainable peace, they must be rehabilitated back into these units. Theresa Jaindong says the plight of these displaced people is the most important aspect of the peace process yet to be resolved. In Buka for RNZI, Don Wiseman."