BUKA - The Autonomous Bougainville Government has been consistently let down by the PNG national government by its continued deferral of meetings to engage on important matters relating to the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
Bougainville President John Momis said this treatment was unacceptable given that the ABG is a legitimate autonomous government afforded specific constitutional powers.
“The national government has consistently failed to meet its obligations under the peace agreement,” Dr Momis said.
“The peace agreement established a Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) as the primary mechanism through which the ABG and the national government must consult and resolve disputes,” he added.
“But I am disappointed that the national government has failed to respect the role of the JSB instead using it as a rubber stamp to push through its own views at the expense of the Bougainville people.
“After 12 years of autonomous government we are still constrained in our ability to govern effectively because of the inaction of the national government,” Dr Momis said.
“The JSB has not yielded anything of substance except for the negotiation of several drawdown powers and the implementation of some high impact projects.”
The next JSB meeting is set down for 14-15 of December but the two governments are still at loggerheads over the formula to pay Bougainville outstanding grants and other funding worth K1.2 billion.
Dr Momis said the ABG’s main focus for the meeting will be on preparations for the referendum on Bougainville’s political future scheduled for June 2019.
The national government’s slowness in addressing the terms of the JSB and the peace agreement has greatly hindered the ABG’s progress.
Despite these setbacks Dr Momis said he was pleased with the momentum built up by the ABG’s Department of Peace Agreement Implementation.
“In spite of these seemingly dark times I call on the people of Bougainville to focus on the noble ambition of self-determination and to commit to achieving our ultimate goal,” Dr Momis said.