9 May 2008

Bougainville President defends mining deal

10:23 am on 9 May 2008

The leader of Papua New Guinea's Autonomous Bougainville Government has rejected claims the island is heading for another crisis.

Amid calls for him to be sacked, President Joseph Kabui has defended his government's deal with Canadian mining company Invincible Resources, which has handed the firm 70 per cent control over Bougainville's mineral resources.

Bougainville landowners have called for Mr Kabui to be sacked, accusing him of working against the best interests of his people.

But the President says the deal was good for Bougainville, saying it needed capital investment to get back on its feet after the secessionist fighting of the 1990s.