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ABG President on disposal of remaining weapons on Bougainville

The ABG President Chief DR. JOHN MOMIS in his speech at the National Conference on Bougainville Referendum organized by the National Research Institute also touched on Weapons disposal.
He said that the disposal of remaining weapons is needed before the referendum not just because of the danger that the weapons might be used in relation to the referendum, but because that is a sign of our full commitment to a lasting peace.
President Momis said that disposing of weapons is also very important in terms of ensuring that people can be free to vote without fear of intimidation.
The President also said that weapons disposal will be vital when it comes to observers and others assessing whether or not the referendum has been free and fair.
He said that Bougainville has run many elections since the BPA was signed, Three National Elections, Three ABG General Elections and One Presidential by-election and we have continued to have weapons in our midst that have not been used. Not a single bullet has been fired.
And this shows the maturity of our people, and their belief that use of weapons is no longer a way we can use to get what we want, But even so we cannot rest until those weapons are disposed of.
President Momis said that is one of the main reasons that we are pursuing weapons disposal as one of the main activities involved in preparing for the referendum.
He said that we must all admit that weapons caused problems, yes use of weapons shut down the huge Panguna Copper and Gold mine which was what many people wanted as the means of negotiating the terms on which that mine operated.
The ABG President stressed that the same use of weapons also caused many divisions and great harm to many people.
He said that when we entered into the peace process in 1997,Peace became the weapon that brought the return to normalcy.
Peace brought us the Peace Monitoring Group and the UN Observer Mission to assist us in developing peace.
Our continued commitment to peace by peaceful means, and using peace as our primary weapon means that weapons and violence can have no part in the referendum and in any transition process that follows the referendum. New Dawn FM/ PNG Today
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