12 Jan 2006

Bougainville outlaw leader claims peace has come through foreign control

8:28 am on 12 January 2006

A dissident money scheme operator in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says the peace agreement which underpins the new government is a result of foreign control.

Noah Musingku has hired foreign ex-soldiers as security guards for a bank based in Tonu.

The five Fijians have sparked a regional crisis by giving military training in the area which is controlled by rebels who retain firearms in spite of the peace process.

Mr Musingku won't turn himself in or allow the Fijians to withdraw.

"There are two types of peace on Bougainville, the peace that is controlled from overseas, and there is a home-grown peace, and we are part of the home grown peace that we see from Bougainville. The other peace comes from foreign control. The other peace comes from our own people, Bougainvilleans, who've been making peace here on the ground."

Mr Musingku says the Me'ekamui dissidents have been using guns for many years in spite of the disarmament process and UN-backed elections.

Mr Musingku says he didn't buy any firearms for the Fijians who he says are needed to secure his investment scheme.

Every bank, every banking system in the world has security guards, and so we have security guards here taking care of our bank. It's normal anywhere in the world, and so we have a two year contract with our soldiers from Fiji, and they are paid according to the contract.

Senior Me'ekamui commanders are said to be increasingly wary of hosting Mr Musingku, but he denies this.

Everybody in Bougainville is part of our system, everybody, the Me'ekamui, the ABG, they all came from Papala, Papala refers to our origins, origins of Bougainville, we all started from Papala.