1 Jul 2006

Bougainville's leader says plot to assassinate him failed

5:10 am on 1 July 2006

The president of the Autonomous Government in Bougainville, Joseph Kabui says a plot to assassinate him has failed.

The alleged assassination plan was to have been carried out during mid-June celebrations to mark the first anniversary of the Autonomous Bougainville Government on the Papua New Guinea island.

But, the Post-Courier newspaper reports a small number of former combatants in Bougainville's bloody secessionist conflict of the 1990s came forward yesterday to admit the plot and apologise.

They were allegedly given weapons and paid nearly 7-thousand US dollars to shoot Mr Kabui when he attended anniversary celebrations in the former mining town of Arawa in central Bougainville.

Mr Kabui says names behind the plot were now coming out, including those of Bougainville leaders, but he was prepared to forgive those involved and not take the matter to the police.

He says it will be sorted out within the leadership circle.

And, he says he is always ready to negotiate and talk with whoever is against him and his government.