14 Nov 2011

Ceasefire deal with rebels in Bougainville eases way for referendum - President Momis

2:45 pm on 14 November 2011

The president of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says he's delighted a ceasefire agreement will be signed with former militant groups in Konnou in the south of the main island late this month.

John Momis says former rebel leader, Damian Koike, has agreed to end the destructive violence that has kept government services out of the region for years.

He says an end to the fighting is critical if the province is to hold a referendum on possible independence from PNG after 2015, as laid out in the peace agreement.

"The people now realise that unless we now resolve our small differences and stop the fighting, nobody wins. We have made a lot of effort to explain to them that one of the conditions is to meet international standards for the people of Bougainville to qualify to have a referendum, we have to have good governance, we have to respect our government."

That is the president of Bougainville John Momis.