24 Jun 2005

Bougainville's veterans affairs minister promises creative programmes to help ex-combatants.

10:37 am on 24 June 2005

The Cabinet of the new Autonomous Bougainville Government in Papua New Guinea, includes an ex-combatant, Glen Tovirika, who has been given responsibility for veteran's affairs.

Mr Tovirika, one of ten in President Joseph Kabui's Cabinet, won the Central Bougainville seat set aside for ex-combatants.

He will be in charge of youth and veterans affairs, and says he wants to create opportunities for the former fighters to develop skills and find work.

"We have to have more creative, consultative rehabilitation programmes for our youths - especially ex-combatants."

In other appointments, Mr Kabui will handle intergovernment affairs and reconciliation, peace and autonomy issues.

Vice President Joseph Watawi is in charge of the public service, and former deputy governor, Gerard Sinato, is Health Minister.

He will also oversee environmental and conservation matters.

The only woman in the Cabinet, Magdalene Toroansi, will be Minister for women, religion and traditional authority.