6 May 2008

Former PNG PM Chan to meet Kabui again in reconciliation bid

1:49 pm on 6 May 2008

A former Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Sir Julius Chan, is expected to travel to Bougainville for the second stage of a reconciliation with the President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Joseph Kabui.

Sir Julius had been forced to step down as Prime Minister in March 1997 amid widespread opposition to his decision to bring in mercenaries from the company, Sandline International, to fight on Bougainville.

Sir Julius has said he has nothing to apologise for but he has praised the efforts of Mr Kabui in restoring peace.

Our correspondent in PNG, Oseah Philemon, says they are now expected to repeat the meeting in Buka.

"It is a symbolic thing. Some people are disappointed that Sir Julius has not actually come out to apologise, but he is an old politician. That is the way he thinks. I think the main is if he continues to get involved in these ceremonies then people will understand the stand that he is taking, but in the process not giving himself away, but also allowing the peace and reconciliation process to continue."

Oseah Philemon