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While preparations for Bougainville’s referendum are in full steam, the national government is now addressing post-referendum issues.
National Coordination Office of Bougainville Affairs (NCOBA) boss John Anuma gave a rundown together with National Research Institute and Bougainville Referendum Commission to the leaders at Parliament.
Prime Minister James Marape, ministers and MPs, including the Speaker Job Pomat, were present for the official briefing led by Bougainville Affairs Minister Sir Puka Temu.
Anuma said there was now a foundation for the post-referendum taskforce committee that would need to be set up, with its functions and a way forward for the committee.
He said while the work of the taskforce is geared towards the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, references would be also made to the following: PNG constitution; Organic Law on peace-building in Bougainville and Bougainville referendum 2002.
Discussions on the Bougainville constitution will also be included.
“The functions will basically be to get both sides together and discuss possible scenarios along the two options that would appear on the referendum ballot paper, which is greater autonomy and independence.
“Other issues to be discussed include the preparedness of the ABG, the referendum choices, preparedness of the people of Bougainville for the eventual outcome, how to manage expectations from the referendum outcome, how to support the independence of the Bougainville Referendum Commission, and how to support the functions of the PNG parliament bipartisan committee on Bougainville affairs,” Mr Anuma said.
Post-referendum support to Bougainville could include a socio-economic package, Bougainville referendum security support, capacity strengthening and resourcing of NCOBA, post-referendum information awareness, completion of draw-down processes and promote policies to sustain peace and greater power-sharing.
Organisation of meetings to date include four post-referendum taskforce committee meetings since January and two joint technical meetings.
Another meeting of the taskforce committee is scheduled for later this month.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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