THE AUTONOMOUS PROVINCE of Bougainville hopes to resolve a long standing impasse in the south of the main island by taking the traditional Melanesian approach of reconciliation.
Despite six years of autonomy, few government services are available around the district of Konnou because the security of workers can’t be guaranteed.
Former civil war combatants, led by Damian Koike, have been blamed for the crime and violence, which has claimed many lives.
President John Momis wants face-to-face talks with Mr Koike, who he says is concerned he could face arrest at such an event.
Mr Momis says to have a permanent peace the government will need to take a traditional Melanesian restorative justice approach.
Restorative justice focuses on the needs of victims, offenders and the involved community instead of satisfying abstract legal principles or punishing the offender.
“To assist him to pay compensation, and vice versa, because there are people on the other side who have, in fact, dealt death blows to people on Koike’s side,” Mr Momis said.
“It’s a complicated situation and we are just trying to get to the bottom of it and work out a mutually acceptable peace arrangement.”
Source: Radio New Zealand International