Vanuatu Police Officers return after Bouganville Referendum

Bila and Garae left on October last year for a two weeks Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) in New Zealand (NZ) before heading to Bougainville for the Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission.

The regional support mission consisted of officers from Australia, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and NZ as the head of the mission.

The two Vanuatu officers were based at Buin, a town and capital of South Bougainville District with six NZ counterparts.

Overwhelming majority vote independence for Bougainville

The result of the autonomous Papua New Guinea region's non-binding independence vote was announced today in Buka by the Bougainville Referendum Commission.

Polling took place over two weeks, with voters asked to choose between Bougainville having continued autonomy within PNG or the second option, becoming independent.

The overwhelming majority vote for option 2 was achieved in a huge voter turnout, with over 85 percent of those enrolled having voted.

Appeals for calm in Bougainville after killing

The region's president and police chief have called for people not to take the law into their own hands.

New Dawn FM reported dozens of houses were burnt and police cars stoned following the killing of a man on Sohano Island on Friday night.

Sebastin Siperau is reported to have died in a confrontation over money.

Police reported his relatives and friends then attacked a compound on Sohano and burnt 34 houses in the early hours of Saturday.

There were also reports some relatives went to the main town of Buka, to avenge the death.

Bougainville Copper on course to renew Panguna licence

The vast Panguna copper and gold mine once generated nearly half of PNG's annual export revenue.

BCL ran Panguna until the outbreak of civil war in 1989 in which grievances caused by the mine were central to the 10 year conflict that cost over 20,000 lives.

It is one of two companies that have been vying to re-open Panguna and has told the market it will continue to pursue the rights of its shareholders.

BCL company secretary Mark Hitchcock said the company was due back in court next month as it was seeking a judicial review over the non-renewal of the licence.

Asian business people in Bougainville under attack

The former secretary of the Bougainville Interim Government, Martin Miriori, was commenting after the looting of two Asian businesses in Buka on Friday last week.

Local reports said the shops had been selling goods that exploited the treasured 'Upe' symbol from the Wakunai district.

Mr Miriori, a brother of former Bougainville president, Joseph Kabui, issued a statement saying Bougainville is for the Bougainvilleans and that the Asian businesses were being targeted for their insensitive business practices.

Solomons' police watching border with Bougainville

The police patrol boat, Lata, is currently in the Shortland Islands, which are very close to the south of Bougainville main island.

Deputy Police Commissioner, Gabriel Manelusi, said that the Lata is carrying specialist staff who have teamed up with local police to investigate alleged criminal activities by people crossing the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea border.

He said the officers wanted to ensure the Shortlands' communities are not undermined by any foreign nationals acting illegally.



VIDEO: Ombudsman Commission opens new office in Bougainville

This signifies the Autonomous Bougainville Government's commitment to rid Bougainville off corruption.

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No reports of major damage from Bougainville quake

The quake struck in PNG's autonomous region of Bougainville, 41 kilometres west north west of Panguna at a depth of 136 kilometres around 2:30pm local time

Aloysius Laukai from Bougainville's New Dawn FM said the quake was strongly felt around the region, but there are no reports through yet of deaths, injury or major damage.

He said there were understood to be some landslides in the southern part of Bougainville, and instances of water tanks falling over, plus items falling off shelves in shops.