Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 11:55 GMT

State of the World's Minorities 2006 - Bougainville

Publisher Minority Rights Group International
Publication Date 22 December 2005
Cite as Minority Rights Group International, State of the World's Minorities 2006 - Bougainville, 22 December 2005, available at: [accessed 14 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

A further decade-long transition to a vote on self-determination is occurring after the May 2005 election of an autonomous government on the island of Bougainville – formerly the North Solomons Province of Papua New Guinea. Between 1989 and 1998, more than 12,000 people died during a blockade of rebel areas and armed clashes between the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF), and pro-PNG Resistance militias. The 1998 peace settlement opened the way for amendments to the PNG Constitution and the adoption in December 2004 of a new Constitution for an autonomous Bougainville.

In May 2005, voters on Bougainville elected an autonomous government led by President Joseph Kabui, a former BRA leader who later engaged in peace negotiations with Papua New Guinea. The death of BRA founder Francis Ona in July 2005, apparently from malaria, will hamper the project of the Republic of Mekamui, the self-proclaimed government in central Bougainville, which refused to join the peace process in the late 1990s. Bougainville will vote on its final political status after 2014.

There are also debates over rights for indigenous peoples and minority communities in independent nations around the region, especially as there is increasing regional integration and new immigration and investment from China, Taiwan and other Asian nations.

Copyright notice: © Minority Rights Group International. All rights reserved.

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