Women want to lead Bougainville peace mission

Enigmatic Entity (dizzie@chaos.apana.org.au)
Wed, 18 Sep 1996 10:33:47 +1000

Title -- 232 BOUGAINVILLE: Women want to lead Bougainville peace mission
Date -- 11 September 1996
Byline -- Peter Niesi
Origin -- Niuswire
Source -- Post-Courier (PNG), 11 September 1996
Copyright -- Post-Courier
Status -- Unabridged


By Peter Niesi

The Arawa Bougainville Women's Inter-church forum has resolved to be in the
frontline of genuine peace initiatives in helping to solve the
eight-year-old Bougainville crisis.

The August 25-31 forum which averaged a daily participation of more than
7000 women, want the recognition and support of the security forces,
resistance chiefs, BRAs and the ordinary Bougainvilleans as they conduct
awareness campaigns.

The women who come from all corners of Bougainville have endorsed an
organisational structure which embraces women from the village level up to
the provincial level.

"The women's stance is that all Bougainvillean sons are not bad. We don't
see guntotting Bougainvilleans as bad. We see that they need to realise
again that we are all people of Bougainville," said media spokeswoman, Mrs
Anastasia Lapointe.

"That's our stance and we are trying to bring BRA rebels and the resistance
together," Mrs Lapointe said.

"We believe that this clear understanding must prevail among all
Bougainvilleans whether they are pro-PNG government or anti-PNG government."

She said that based on this understanding they have resolved to have an
organisational structure for a Bougainville women's inter-church peace forum
at the provincial, district and village levels.

"We have done this because we feel that for genuine peace to come, we need
to reconcile," she said.

Contact Details:

Vikki John (BFM) +61-2-9558-2730 email: V.john@uts.edu.au
Moses Havini (BIG) +61-2-9804-7602
Max Watts +61-2-9818-2343 email: MWATTS@fisher.biz.usyd.edu.au
(Journalist specialising in Bougainville, East Timor and West Papua issues)

Bougainville Freedom Movement
P.O. Box 134, Erskineville, NSW 2043, Australia