RESEARCH by Bougainvillean author Leonard Fong Roka (pictured), conducted as part of his just finished studies at Divine Word University, reveals that many people in his home province are retaining weapons because they fear another war may break out.
Under the Bougainville Peace agreement of 2001, which brought to an end a 10-year long civil war, weapons disposal was agreed as one of the pillars for the conduct of a referendum on independence.
Roka’s research was carried out earlier this year in Zone 3 of Arawa Town, where most of the factional leaders and other citizens from around Bougainville live.
The 40 male and female participants said the major reason why Bougainvilleans are not surrendering guns and other weapons because they feel another war might erupt.
They represented both sides of the people involved in the civil war as well as other Bougainvilleans.
“So much has happened during the crisis and still we can’t trust anyone, especially the politicians, because we cannot know how much each Bougainvillean has gone through,” Mr Roka said.
Mr Roka said some people felt Bougainville might have to fight for independence if PNG is not willing to let Bougainville free itself.