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Former PNG leaders to carry unity message to Bougainville

A team of former Papua New Guinea prime ministers is to go to Bougainville with a message of unity.
Sir Julius Chan, now a provincial governor, is to lead the team which also includes Sir Rabbie Namaliu and Paias Wingti.

The Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has reportedly welcomed the offer to try and convince the people on Bougainville to remain part of PNG when they hold a referendum on independence next year.

Sir Julius said his message would be that they really wanted Bougainville to stay part of Papua New Guinea.

All three former prime ministers headed the PNG government during the ten year long Bougainville crisis.

Sir Julius said they wanted to see a united PNG and believed PNG could give Bougainville what it wanted, while independence would do little good.

Sir Julius is also seeking autonomy, within PNG, for his New Ireland Province.  RNZ
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