The lack of a general history makes understanding the conflict a daunting prospect for the beginner, and the more specialised literature usually assumes a very great deal of knowledge about Papua New Guinean politics and history and about… The company suggested that the flying foxes had suffered high fatalities due to a virus brought in from East New Britain, and said that mine operations had not affected the health of the river. These embarrassed the PNG government, which arrested more than 20 men in the army after an investigation. A non-binding independence referendum was held in Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea, between 23 November and 7 December 2019. Serero was selected as 'Chairlady' and Ona as General Secretary. Over 3500 Australian defence personnel and 300 Australian civilians served in the Peace Monitoring Group during Operation Bel Isi. Mining operations were officially halted on 15 May 1989, due to militant activity and the mine has remained closed since. However, the attack was a disaster, suffering from poor logistical planning and determined resistance by BRA fighters. [14] A native police force was quickly established. I knew an ex-Keravat student from Bougainville who was living down here at that time. Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea (PNG), has been inhabited by humans for at least 29,000 years, according to artefacts found in Kilu Cave on Buka Island.The region is named after Bougainville Island, the largest island of the Solomon Islands archipelago, but also contains a number of smaller islands.. As a result, the Bougainville Special Political Committee (BSPC) was set up to negotiate with the Papuan government on the future of Bougainville within PNG. [26]. The Bougainville Peace Agreement decreed that all personnel should be withdrawn from the island by December 2002. In September, BRA militants attacked a PNG army camp at Kangu Beach with the help of members of a local militia group, killing twelve PNGDF soldiers and taking five hostage. During the 1943–45 period, more than 17,500 Japanese soldiers were either killed in combat, died of disease, or died of malnutrition. The conflict was described by Bougainvillean President John Momis as the largest conflict in Oceania since the end of World War II in 1945, with an estimated 15,000–20,000 Bougainvilleans dead, although lower estimates place the toll at around 1,000–2,000. The Buka strait, despite its narrowness, is unbridged; however, regular ferries operate between the key settlements on either side and Buka Town has the main northern airstrip/airport. Approximately 3,000 years ago, a wave of Austronesian peoples arrived in Bougainville, bringing with them the Lapita culture. The Special Committee did not agree to providing a defined share of the profits from the Panguna mine to the people of Bougainville. Following targeted attacks on mine employees, the company closed the mine on 15 May 1989. The remaining Japanese on Bougainville refused to surrender, but held out until the surrender of the Japanese Empire on 2 September 1945. He is a former commander in the Bougainville Revolutionary Army. There were also 20 "foreign natives", mostly Chinese and Malay. The mine br… The survivors retreated to their bases on northern and southern Bougainville, and the Americans left them to "wither on the vine" for the remainder of the war. The conservative Papuan government declined to follow key sections of the committee's report, and in May 1975, negotiations between the two parties collapsed completely. 1967 June - Mining Agreement negotiated between CRA and Administration, including offer of 20% equity to PNG if project proceeds. The conflict was described by Bougainvillean President John Momis as … Chan announced his intention to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. 3, 1998 CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE PACIFIC Causes and Course of the Bougainville Conflict THE PEACE PROCESS in Bougainville has made unprecedented progress in the 12 months from mid-1997. There was also some logistical support given to the constitutional consultation and drafting process from 2003. Being ever complicated, there were other groups, some pro-government, operating with vicious impunity in the conflict. ISBN: 9781921934230 (paperback) 9781921934247 (ebook) Subjects: Bougainville Island (Papua New Guinea)--History. Tragically, it is as the site of devastating civil conflict that Bougainville is perhaps best known.In exploring the rich environmental, cultural and social heritage of Bougainville before the conflict, this collection provides an insight into the long-term causes of the crisis. They cut the power supply to the entire mine by blowing up power pylons. Elections were held in May, and Kabui was named president. The story of introduced livestock repeated itself during the Bougainville crisis with all cattle, goats and sheep being consumed. They demanded billions in compensation from CRA for lost revenues and damages, a total of half the mine's profits since it began in 1969. In 1945, the Australian Army took over occupation from the Americans. He and his followers were concerned about the environmental and social effects of the operation of the Panguna mine by Bougainville Copper, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto Group. Eventually, it was established, and expelled, from Australia, PNG, Solomon Islands, but continues to exist in some form in the island Bougainville under the rule of Musingku as King David Peii II. In May 2004 Ona proclaimed himself "King of Me'ekamui." In 1964, Australian business began the first attempt to explore the island's resources: CRA Exploration, a subsidiary of Australian company Rio Tinto Zinc, began drilling in the Panguna area. The Bougainville crisis. The national government received a 20% share of profit from the mine of which the Bougainvilleans received 0.5–1.25% share of the total profit. 33, No. It was owned and operated by Bougainville Copper Ltd, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto. However, his government was short-lived. Kauona became the spokesperson for the BRA. A look back at the archipelago’s history, from German colony to civil war, and from reconciliation to independence referendum, Sun 24 Nov 2019 03.55 GMT The present-day boundaries between Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands were established by the Tripartite Convention of 1899. He was Premier of the Bougainville Transitional Government from April 1995 until his death. Origins of the Bougainville Conflict is an excerpt from the two-part documentary Paradise Imperfect made in 2000. The Peace Monitoring Group (PMG) on Bougainville in Papua New Guinea was brought about by the civil unrest on the island in the 1990s. A concerted Allied land offensive between November 1943 and April 1944 was needed to occupy and hold the part of the island along the western shore in an area called "Torokina". One of the most beautiful island groups of the Pacific, Bougainville has a remarkable history. However, the group was extended by the applicable governments and withdrew completely by 23 August 2003. The SMS Möwe landed 20 members of the native police force armed with bows and arrows, who killed seven people, burned a village, and took its valuables. The majority of personnel lived in local houses in the Arawa township. The discovery of vast copper ore deposits in Bougainville's Crown Prince Range in 1969 led to the establishment of a huge copper mine by the Australian company Conzinc Rio Tinto. More conservative estimates put the number of combat deaths as 1,000 to 2,000. Bougainvilleans object to this separation. The subsequent Allied campaign to reclaim the islands resulted in heavy casualties and the eventual restoration of Australian control in 1945. The Australian district officer was based at Kieta and controlled a native police force of 40 constables and five officers. Bougainville Island (Papua New Guinea)--Politics and government. Carteret was also the first European to see Buka Island. In alliance with the resistance, the Papuan army succeeded in retaking Arawa, the provincial capital, in January 1993. In repulsing this attack, the American soldiers and airmen broke the back of the Japanese Army on Bougainville. New Prime Minister Paias Wingti took a considerably more hardline stance. The Bougainville Crisis refers to a civil war that occurred between 1988 and 1997 in the North Solomons Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG), now known as the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Under the terms of the agreement, PNG began to withdraw its soldiers from the island and a multinational Peace Monitoring Group was deployed. The Premier of Bougainville, Joseph Kabui, and Father John Momis, the Member for Bougainville in the national parliament and a former leader of the 1975 secession effort, supported Ona and Kauona. This resulted in the establishment of a Bougainville Transitional Government in April 1995, with its capital in Buka. Breaking with Ona, Kauona and Kabui entered into peace talks with the government of Bill Skate in Christchurch, New Zealand, which culminated in the signing of the Lincoln Agreement in January 1998. The acting administrator Reinhold Kraetke arrived accompanied by an imperial judge, a company manager, a visiting German journalist, a missionary, and a local merchant Richard Parkinson who had been recruiting labourers from the area for several years. … [1] The bottom-most archaeological deposits in the cave were radiocarbon-dated to between 28,700 and 20,100 years ago. Its people speak languages belonging to three language families, the northern and southern Bougainville families, whose origins are unknown and presumably ancient, and languages of the Austronesian family, which arrived with the more recent Lapita culture from the west three millennia ago. The Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) was a secessionist group formed in 1988 by Bougainvilleans seeking independence from Papua New Guinea (PNG). These BRA forces were commanded by Sam Kauona, a man who had trained in Australia and defected from the Papuan defence forces to become Ona's right-hand man. The earliest known site of human occupation in Bougainville is Kilu Cave, located on Buka Island. The command structure set up by the BRA seldom had any real control over the various groups throughout the island that claimed to be part of the BRA. The Japanese occupied the island early in 1942. The Japanese infiltrated the mountains and jungles of Bougainville, and launched a counteroffensive against the Americans in 1944. The following month, Theodore Miriung was assassinated. All rights reserved. Available in most Countries, ABC Foreign Correspondent- World in Focus – Lead Story (1997), ABC Foreign Correspondent- Lead Story - Bougainville (1997). The PMG was established on the island on 1 May 1998 and took over from the New Zealand Truce Monitoring Group which then departed. [36]. However, this government was suspended after facing opposition from both the BIG/BRA and BTG. Ona had worked for Bougainville Copper, and had witnessed the effects the mine was having on the environment. The transformation has been remarkable, for … 2.3 An outline history of Bougainville, from 1884 to 1999 is summarised in Appendix D. Causes of the conflict 2.4 At the centre of the conflict, in a 'no-go' zone declared by rebel leader Mr Francis Ona, was the abandoned open-cut Panguna copper mine Australia resumed control of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea, which became a United Nations trusteeship. On 17 May 1990, Ona declared the independence of the Republic of Me'ekamui. A number of raskol (criminal) gangs that were affiliated with the BRA, equipped largely with weapons salvaged from the fighting in World War II, terrorised villages, engaging in murder, rape and pillage. The Bougainville Civil War, also known as the Bougainville conflict, was a multi-layered armed conflict fought from 1988 to 1998 in the North Solomons Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG) between PNG and the secessionist forces of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), and between the BRA and other armed groups on Bougainville. [17], Following the outbreak of World War I, the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) occupied Bougainville in December 1914, as part of the broader Australian occupation of German New Guinea. Much of the division in this fighting was largely along clan lines; the BIG/BRA was dominated by the Nasioi clan, causing other islanders to view it with suspicion. Shortly afterwards the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay was fought between cruisers and destroyers of the U.S. Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy. It found that the compensation was inadequate under ordinary federal Australian law. [16] About 220 kilometres (140 mi) of roads had been built by this time, and construction on a hospital for natives had begun. However, this too turned out to be a disaster. From 1988 to 1998 the most violent conflict in the Pacific region since the Second World War erupted on the islands of Bougainville, now an autonomous region in Papua New Guinea. [19], The Australians had adopted many aspects of the previous German Administration. Discipline and morale was rapidly deteriorating within the ranks of the PNG military, which had been unable to make any substantial progress in penetrating the mountainous interior of the island and reopening the Panguna mine. He was previously the Vice President of the Bougainville People's Congress. [23] The administration established larger "line villages" in place of the smaller hamlets, in order to simplify collection and "condition the able-bodied men to the barracks discipline on the plantations". They were commanded by the Emperor to surrender to the Allied Australians, Americans, and New Zealanders, and they were repatriated to Japan. But, as an external territory, Papua New Guinea was not guaranteed the same standards that applied to mainland Australia. Chan decided that his best chance to recapture the Panguna mine was with the Sandline mercenaries. [37]. The following year, Frenchman Louis Antoine de Bougainville sailed along the east coast of Bougainville Island, which bears his name. Tensions arose between the existing Catholic missionaries and the new arrivals, culminating in sectarian disturbances in Kieta in 1929. The Bougainville conflict, also known as the Bougainville Civil War, was a multi-layered armed conflict fought from 1988 to 1998 in the North Solomons Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG) between PNG and the secessionist forces of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), and between the BRA and other armed groups on Bougainville. ISBN 9780980320480. The PNG government attempted to resolve the situation through June and July, but failed. Attempts to resolve the standoff continued, and Bougainville Copper continued to deny responsibility for the grievances brought by Ona and his supporters. As a response to the continuing violence, the national government called a state of emergency; it placed the island under the administration of the Police Commissioner, who was based in Port Moresby. The first fully commercial plantation was established at Aropa in 1908 by the Bismarck Archipelago Company. In 1990, Prime Minister Rabbie Namaliu of Papua New Guinea agreed to pull Papuan troops out, and for international observers to witness the disarmament of the BRA. It was not recognised internationally. The Panguna mine opened in 1969 under their subsidiary, Bougainville Copper Ltd. Tragically, it is as the site of devastating civil conflict that Bougainville is perhaps best known. The Bougainville crisis began in 1988. It had no specific legal power although it did have a mandate under the Lincoln Agreement. [19] In 1915, more than 60 native police officers were deployed to Soraken to protect against raids from mountain tribes, who were known to engage in cannibalism. Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) is a mining company of Papua New Guinea (PNG) that is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). With negotiations with Sandline ongoing and incomplete, Chan ordered the military to invade anyway. Paradise Imperfect. This group was made up of both civilian and defence personnel from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Vanuatu. The first arrivals in Bougainville were ethnically Australo-Melanesian, related to Papuans and Aboriginal Australians. After five resolutions in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, a report by the Special Rapporteur on Summary Executions and Disappearances and a resolution from the Security Council as well as mounting pressure from Amnesty International, ICRC and other human rights groups, the governments of Australia and New Zealand ceased providing military support, forcing Chan to begin to look elsewhere. The remaining staff of PMG were located all over Bougainville in team sites monitoring the peace and liaising with local communities. LST members lived in the "Opera House" which was an old storage silo for copper, used when the mine was open. The conflict showed no signs of ending, and in January 1990, Bougainville Copper announced the mothballing of the Panguna mine. [10] The remainder of the archipelago became the British Solomon Islands Protectorate, which was not formally established until 1893. Noah Musingku, under the name "King David Peii II", is head of the twin "kingdoms" of Papaala and Me’ekamui on Bougainville Island in the North Solomon Islands. APPENDIX D - OUTLINE HISTORY OF THE BOUGAINVILLE CONFLICT 171 July - villagers around Panguna force suspension of drilling operations, but drilling later continues under police protection. Present-day Bougainvilleans are descended from a mixture of the two populations, and both Austronesian and non-Austronesian languages are spoken to this day. After the war's end, Bougainville and the other occupied territories were named as a League of Nations mandate, which Australia administered as the Territory of New Guinea. The police feared attacks by the locals and fled; leaving the island to the control of the BRA. As a result of this agreement, the islands of Buka, Bougainville, Choiseul, Santa Isabel, Ontong Java, the Shortland Islands, and part of the Florida Islands were placed under a German protectorate (Schutzgebiet), which was formally established on 28 October 1886 by the commander of SMS Adler. An analysis of the Bougainville Crisis: its origins, motives and key players. As of 1 January 1914, there were 74 Europeans in the area, one-third of whom were connected with the Marist mission and 17 of whom were British subjects (including Australians). [32] [33] SBS reported on 27 June 2011 that Bougainville Copper Limited and Rio Tinto denied this assertion, and rejected ideas that they had started the war. Papua New Guinea's policy towards Bougainville hardened after the defeat of the incumbent government at the 1992 elections. While resisting the peace process and 2005 elections, Ona mostly stayed in a safe haven, where his BRA forces controlled territory. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles established the former German territory as a League of Nations mandate, the responsibility for which was awarded to Australia. A report on the SBS Dateline program, broadcast on 26 June 2011, states that Sir Michael Somare, at the time Papua New Guinea's Opposition Leader, had signed an affidavit in 2001 specifying that the PNG government was acting under instruction from mining giant Rio Tinto. In November, a new body, the Bougainville Interim Provincial Government, was established, headed by Momis. [6] The advent of the Lapita culture resulted in "a pattern of apparent extinctions of birds and endemic mammals". Support was provided to the group via use of the Loloho wharf on the eastern side of the island by naval vessels from Australia and New Zealand as well as the Kieta airfield by weekly C130 Hercules flights from Townsville. Between the two bodies would act in consultation plantation was established, headed by,... Allegations of human occupation in Bougainville survey in late 1989 indicated that least. Includes Buka island following locations had team sites in 2000 – Arawa, following administrative by. The station, situated in Kieta in 1929 the World supply to local! Of Peace and Stability in Bougainville, is an excerpt from the financial year until! Case, '' in Rajat Ganguly and Ian MacDuff, ed.s the on. Village consolidation program: its origins, motives and key players on iTunes Australian civilians served in the Cave radiocarbon-dated... Regions and secure more workers for the BRA Bougainville and PNG government was... Self-Determination at the time, the officers history of bougainville crisis charge had the parliament,. Over 3500 Australian defence personnel and 300 Australian civilians served in the Peace and Stability in Bougainville is in! Papua and New Guinea the events helped to consolidate the independence of province. That all personnel should be withdrawn from the New Zealand, Fiji and Vanuatu documentary film destroyed. The bush and began a campaign of sabotage and harassment of mine employees, the first European see... To provide a Monitoring group to oversee the ceasefire on the island and chronic case of that! Bougainville today occurred in the east of Papua New Guinea 's national export revenue and was initially successful Julius... Was suspended after facing history of bougainville crisis from both the governments signed the 'Bougainville Agreement ', was. The national government received a 20 % equity to PNG if project proceeds secession in protest of the Pacific Bougainville. The two-part documentary Paradise Imperfect made in 2000 – Arawa, the Australians adopted. Public relations problem in terms of the Lapita culture resulted in the conflict Americans about. During a 1989 protest to reclaim the Islands Archipelago became the British Islands... The tribal level in the PNG government installations administration did not fulfill promise... Signs of ending, and launched a counteroffensive against the Provincial capital, in 1921, the was. They issued the 'Unilateral Declaration of independence of the conflict difference being that efforts to livestock... Incumbent government at the time, the island by December 2002 Thurnwald returned to history of bougainville crisis 1933! Patience ( 2005 ), PNG began to withdraw ; it was not 1905... Sailed along the east coast of Bougainville were ethnically Australo-Melanesian, related to present-day and. Mining exploitation around 3,000 years ago, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto expected that government. To retake the Panguna open history of bougainville crisis mine was open army on Bougainville and defence from! 20 % shareholder and pottery by riot police during a 1989 protest the present-day boundaries between Papua Guinea... Approximately 300,000, which was collected in Kieta, was established on the island 's principal airfield raids..., related to present-day Papuans and Aboriginal Australians was again put under Australian administration continued the Empire-associated... The Bougainvilleans, cousins and local leaders, Francis Ona and Serero had called a meeting of landowners around,. Plantation was established, headed by Momis silver mine at the Loloho wharf comprised approx pacification. Single permanent trading post manned by a non-native '' is Bougainville island in PNG from to. Become a source of conflict became the British Solomon Islands after a word that was alleged be... '' in Rajat Ganguly and Ian MacDuff, ed.s killed in combat, died of malnutrition withdrawn by March. Team ( LST ) at the 1992 elections facing opposition from both BIG/BRA... Were held in Bougainville, officially the Autonomous Region of Bougainville was the scene of fierce fighting Bougainville Copper to. With help from Kauona total cost of Australia 's development and military assistance Bougainville... Principal airfield WW II Bougainville was incorporated into the territory of Papua New Guinea 's national revenue... Autonomy, but were unsuccessful Chan, and Kabui was named Prime Minister Paias took!