BEFORE THE BLOODY BOUGAINVILLE CRISIS, my uncles were just young, enjoying life in a normal way.
Laughter, peace and happiness were what you can see on their faces. Some were about to get marry, others were about to complete school and work with Bougainville Copper Limited and others were still schooling.
At this time one cannot imagine living in an ugly town but Arawa town which was known to be the safest and beautiful town in Papua New Guinea was where many spent time with family and friends.
However, apart from Arawa town there were other peaceful places like Kieta and Panguna and others. So these were the places my uncles enjoy their everyday life.
Altogether, they were four brothers from the same mother namely, Justine, Kevin, Richard and Brian. Justine was their eldest brother and Brian their last born and among all of them, people use to tell me that the prettiest was Kevin.
Kevin was such a handsome black guy with facial features that captured many cute ladies. He got married when he was only 23. Kevin’s wife was a mix of Australia and small Buka, both matched so much that some got jealous.
By the time Kevin was 24 in 1989, they had a son, Nigel. Sadly, when Nigel was four months old, his father, an innocent person, was killed by the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF).
Kevin’s body was found in a place called Toborai in the Kieta area and taken to Arawa General Hospital morgue. An eyewitness said, “Man! As we move closer to see, cannot really believe the way they killed him, it’s cruel and inhuman”.
Kevin’s death brought tears to my uncles, his blood brothers. Their tears turned into anger and hatred. This was the start of their small Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) group.
The group consisted of nine men with highly powered weapons. None of them had a military background but as time went by they gained experience and trained themselves.
These nine men became deadly hardcore killers on the Island but out of the nine one was the most deadly he was nicknamed as “Black Tiger”.
Black Tiger knew nothing about fear; he could enter enemy territory confidently without being spotted. As the crisis continued Black Tiger improved his deadly fighting skills. My uncles learnt a lot from Black Tiger, they believed he was sent by a good spirit. However, sadly Black Tiger passed away during the cease fire in 1997.
Today, my uncles are traumatized and struggling to get back the life they had before.
Some are addicted to alcohol and watch out not to make them angry because if you do it’s hard to control their temper.
I feel really sorry for them so every Christmas I do it my business to visit them and try to help them out.