One manager told me: “We did everything they [PNG security forces] asked of us to make their life more comfortable, and better able to manage through, with transport, communications, provisions, whatever, fuel. Bougainville: Perspectives on a Crisis. loyalist) force. The mine b… As a result, in April 1998 a permanent ceasefire was signed, while in 2001 the Bougainville Peace Agreement was endorsed. Socialist Register 2000: Working Classes Global Realities, London: Merlin. May, R. J. Much of what I'd read about Bougainville before arriving painted a picture of a troubled and unstable country. Extra-judicial killings, forced displacement, the internment of civilians, and the denial of humanitarian aid, were just some of the egregious tactics employed by the military. According to Regan (1996), the BRA began countering emerging loyalist sentiment through arrests, interrogation, torture and executions. BCL director Sir Rabbie Namaliu told The Australian on July 16, 2011: “To suggest that Rio did it deliberately is factually wrong. Indeed the Ministers told Cornelius, more needed to be done for local communities. Unsatisfied with BCL’s legalistic approach, the PLA set up a road-block on 16 May 1988, which prevented the mine from operating for several hours. BCL’s Chairman was particularly alarmed at the deteriorating situation on the island. As a result, in late March the mobile squads were instructed by the national government to restore order, with assistance from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF). WOMEN WORK TO ADDRESS SILENCE OVER WAR ATROCITIES IN POST-CONFLICT BOUGAINVILLE August 20, 2016 12:00 am Published by Catherine Wilson Leave your thoughts. Following the declaration of emergency the PNGDF initiated a series of counterinsurgency operations which were designed to clear the mine area of civilians, thus undermining the BRA’s ability to operate in the mine vicinity. Facing severe financial and logistic constraints the national government turned to the mine’s operator, Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), and PNG’s principal international benefactor, Australia, to prop up the PNGDF. Case Study published 2012. Ted Diro, the Minister of State, and Ben Sabumei, the Minister for Defence, persuaded their cabinet colleagues that a state of emergency must be declared, and the BRA neutralised using military force. As a result, while police mobile squads were dispatched and placed on security detail, the Prime Minister also elected to send a peace delegation to Bougainville in an effort to forge a mediated settlement to the crisis. By August 1989 BCL was satisfied that the rebels were on the back-foot, consequently they agreed to begin repairing the mine. Alternatively, you can send your message to editor@greenleft.org.au. Memorandum to CRA Directors, 6 December 1988. Modules . Matilda’s mother, Dolores—a brave, deeply religious woman—endlessly promises her pining daughter that they will take the next boat to reunite with her father. While this alone was remarkable just before the turn of the millennium, what is absolutely astonishing was that the weapons had been “resurrected” from the WWII battlefields. Fearing negative exposure, the national government banned the media from entering Bougainville. In an effort to bring the rebels to heal, the PNG government, with encouragement from Australia and BCL, placed a military blockade around Bougainville during May 1990. Arnson, C. J. and Zartman, I. W. (2005) Rethinking the Economics of War: The Intersection of Need, Creed and Greed, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto is seriously contemplating reopening its Bougainville copper and gold mine, Reuters reported on February 7. “You know, we gave them everything, because as a far as we saw it we were hoping that they were going to solve the situation, so we could start operating again. Ce navire de guerre était prévu pour servir dans les colonies à l'étranger et transportait un armement assez performant pour sa taille. BCL responded favourably. (2002). Australian supplied helicopters – which arrived in July – were immediately put to use, “offensive fire was regularly directed from the helicopters at suspected targets, including villages. Brunnschweiler, C., and Bulte E. H. (2008) 'The resource curse revisited and revised: a tale of paradoxes and red herrings', Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 55(3), 248-264. The International State Crime Initiative would like to thank the following contributors: Amanda King and Fabio Cavadini of Frontyard Films who provided excerpts from their documentary film, 'An Evergreen Island'. This Accord examines the creative initiatives that helped to end the violence, and describes an indigenous peace process that drew on the strengths of Melanesian traditions. However, the PNGDF lacked the operational capacity to undertake this extensive military campaign alone. Tell us what Green Left means to you. Bougainville: The Forgotten Human Rights Tragedy, report: available online. It is said that this conflict was the bloodiest war since WWII in Oceania, and with over 15,000 deaths, that could be correct. It provided over 45% of Papua New Guinea's national export revenue and was incredibly important to the economy. (1990) ‘Bougainville is a Special Case’, in May, R. J. and Spriggs, M. This it was hoped would split the rebels into disparate groups, thus allowing the PNGDF to pick them off one by one. With revenues from the mine grinding to a halt, and PNG’s international investment reputation at risk, two new Ministers entered cabinet with a strategy for resolving the situation. Bougainville Revolutionary Army, Communiqué, 29 November 1989. ), Weaving Consensus: The Papua New Guinea-Bougainville Peace Process. The beachhead was secured on November 13. ‘The Politics of the Panguna Landowners’ Association’, in May, R. J. and Spriggs, M. Only then we will be able to save the lives of our people in Bougainville … Please be united and walk side by side. According to a former District Commander of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC): “Basically the mobile squad people are semi-military, they are aggressive, they don’t do what normal policeman do, they go in there and they beat a few heads in. Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. I am talking frankly, they will knock a few heads in, burn a few houses down, shoot a few pigs, shoot at cars … The mobile squads operated with a modus operandi of frightening people” (Personal Communication, 2006). Believing that the law and order operation had demonstrated the government’s capacity to impose its authority, a meeting was called with moderate landowners opposed to Francis Ona. Bougainvillean nurse, Sister Ruby Mirinka, recalled: “One of the victims was a 24-year-old pregnant woman. Lasslett, K. (2012). Hilson, C. J. But a military blockade has been placed around Bougainville. BCL’s reaction to this proposal is documented in a memorandum penned by the company’s Chairman. Result: Bougainville Peace Agreement Establishment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government; Belligerents Papua New Guinea. When I heard about those claims, I thought the whole thing was rather unfair.”. For the Australian government, the Bougainville crisis raised a number of concerns (see Lasslett 2012). Testimony of Senior Australian Department of Defence Official, Testimony of Senior Australian High Commission (Port Moresby) Official, Testimony of Senior Australian Defence Force Officer. The new Prime Minister, Rabbie Namaliu, ordered an independent inquiry into the mining operation during August. Memorandum to the Chairman, 22 November 1988. World War II, when: because of the natural affluence of their village life and the coverage of the [Bougainville] district by Christian missions (mainly Catholic and non-Australian), the administration neglected to play a conspicuous role in development almost until copper was discovered. The loyalist paramilitaries were arguably even more brutal than their state allies. Lasslett, K. (2009). I am sure that that lesson is being learnt by the Bougainvilleans” (National Parliament of PNG, Record of Proceedings, 11 July, 1989). (eds.) This framework received a major boost when the military revolted against the national government’s plan to employ the private military company, Sandline International, during early 1997. Available online. According to Rogers (2002: 238) Colonel Nuia “was a hardliner with little sympathy for the secessionists”. BCL’s Managing Director immediately phoned key Ministers and organised an emergency meeting for the following morning. During early 1989 unrest on Bougainville grew as militants began to attack the property of local businessman. Ten years of fighting for autonomy from Papua New Guinea and a brutal civil war ravaged the country in the 80s and 90s. In order to press home this customary power, clan groups in the Bougainville mine area organised themselves through the Panguna Landowners Association (PLA). Despite lack of local support for the moderate landowner faction cobbled together earlier in the year, the agreement was scheduled to be signed on 11 September 1989, several days after the mine’s official re-opening. In which case the safety of expatriates and the security of Australian investments (which stood at around $A1.8 billion), would be put in peril. [Dr Kristian Lasslett is an executive board member of the International State Crime Initiative. Well, its executives seem fairly cogent on this front too. Regan, A. J. Bougainville – Blood on our Hands: Australia’s Role in PNG’s War. The Bougainville Crisis: 1991 Update. A … (eds. ‘Mining and Civil Conflict: Revisiting Grievance at Bougainville, Minerals’, Minerals & Energy - Raw Materials Report, 21(2), 23–35. Green, P. and Ward, T. (2004) State Crime: Governments, Violence and Corruption, London: Pluto Press. Aware that something significant was being planned, BCL’s Managing Director, Robert Cornelius, relayed his concerns to the company’s Chairman, ahead of a meeting with the PNG government. Then deal with the other issues (BCL, PNG, etc) in their own priority, in their own way in their own time. Today the opposition to the mine is strongest overseas, especially among Australia's trade unions and non-government organisations. (2007), ‘The Dynamics of Papua New Guinea’s Democracy: An Essay’, Pacific Economic Bulletin, 22/1: 135–157. Polomka, P. With many radical PLA activists now dead, the company may get its way. Frightened, ignorant thugs with guns a long way from home.”, Another executive remembered surveying the destruction inflicted upon local villages by government forces during April 1989: “Forty, 50 villages, and the crops [were destroyed]. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers. (ed.) Cramer, C. (2006), Civil War is Not a Stupid Thing. Okole, H. (1990). They claimed Rio Tinto’s equipment was commandeered by the defence force after the mine had been abandoned. Assisted by moderate leaders on all sides, Bougainville’s burgeoning civil society was able to slowly develop a framework for peace. The meeting ended on a sour note. Bougainville Campaign: November 1943-August 1945 Under U.S. Navy aircraft and gunfire support, Task Force 31, led by Rear Admiral Theodore S. Wilkinson, USN, landed First Marine Amphibious Corps, led by Lieutenant General Alexander A. Vandergrift, USMC, at Cape Torokina, Bougainville, Solomon Islands. Matilda realises there will be no more boats. They believed this would set a destructive precedent, illustrating that force could produce results. (2000) Greed and Grievance in Civil War, Washington, DC: World Bank. Indeed, PNG’s Cabinet was sensitive to the fact that a heavy handed approach might not be socially feasible in a country where tradition, kinship, and customary landownership remain pervasive forces. Noté /5. (2000). Last night I was on edge. Accounting for Violence in Developing Countries, London: Hurst & Company. (ed. A new mining law was passed last month by the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), opening up talk of the reopening of the Panguna mine – the catalyst of a 10-year civil war. Situated on Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) eastern border with the Solomon Islands, the company's Bougainville operation was forcefully closed down in November 1988 by traditional landowners who objected to the mine’s environmental and social effects. The Bougainville Crisis, Bathurst: Crawford House Press. For example, I interviewed eight senior managers who worked for BCL during 1987-1992. Assisted by moderate leaders on all sides, Bougainville’s burgeoning civil society was able to slowly develop a framework for peace. Canberra: Pandanus Books. (eds.) The war has been described as the largest conflict in Oceania since the end of World War II, with an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 Bougainvillean dead. Operation Footloose, as it was known, aimed to fracture the BRA command using extreme force. Berdal, M. and Malone, D. M. Le plus grand et le plus puissant représentant du type aviso, l'équivalent pour la Marine française des sloops et des canonnières. The peace agreement signed in 2001 in Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea (PNG), ended the most violent conflict in the South Pacific since World War Two. It wasn't just the "ambassador." Perry informed Cornelius that at around 12:30am militants had initiated a campaign of arson, which had damaged BCL’s accounting office, executive guest house, and engineering drawing office (over the coming days the attacks became more focused on paralysing the mine’s power supply). Dom Rotheroe who provided excerpts from his documentary film, 'A Coconut Revolution'. ‘In Between: Personal Experiences In the 9-Year Long War on Bougainville’. May, R. J., and Spriggs, M. The 1988-1998 conflict on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville saw use of WWII weapons. Following a large protest in April 1988, the PLA’s leaders handed BCL a letter which outlined their demands. In response Francis Ona and his supporters fled into the jungle and formed the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA). Frightened ignorant thugs with guns. We didn’t have the logistics to go in, but when you have a call out, and the national government wants you to go, what do you do? They were confident the company did supply the defence force with the aforementioned equipment. (2006). This is an audio version of the Wikipedia Article: Bougainville Civil War Listening is a more natural way of learning, when compared to reading. (1990). The executive’s aim was to level the social hierarchy that had formed on Bougainville, by expropriating both the mining company and the local elite who had monopolised land, compensation payments, and business opportunities. The PNGDF, with assistance from the Australian Defence Force, instrumentalised these tensions – their plan was to exacerbate the growing divisions on Bougainville by continuing the blockade, and by engaging in psychological operations. Standish, B. So we supported them every way we could.”. Available online. No one was exempted from the violence. Additionally landowners and politicians were assaulted, a prominent landowner’s wife was raped, and those left homeless by the destruction were placed in internment camps (called ‘care centres’ by the PNG government) where they were denied access to any outside visitors. Consequently, when customary landowners used industrial sabotage to close the mine in 1988, this regional dispute soon transformed into a major national crisis. However, the BRA’s leadership was adamant, any permanent solution to the conflict would require: 1) The withdrawal of the government’s security forces from Bougainville; 2) The permanent closure of the mine; and 3) The holding of a referendum to decide the question of independence. Bougainville people are very independent and intelligent. Full text of "Universal Periodic Review: Bougainville Civil Society Shadow Report" See other formats TO: civilsocietyunit@ohchr.org CC: Christina.saunders@ohchr.org UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW on PapUO New Guinea BOUGAINVILLE CIVIL SOCIETY STAKEHOLDER REPORT TO OHCHR 1. The Bougainville Civil War, also known as the Bougainville Conflict, was an armed conflict fought from 1988 to 1998 between Papua New Guinea and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), who were fighting for independence. Naturally, Rio Tinto wants to take advantage of skyrocketing copper and gold prices by dusting off its old South Pacific jewel. The Bougainville Conflict: Origins and Development, Main “Actors”, and Strategies for its Resolution, Port Moresby: University of Papua New Guinea Faculty of Law. Our side is — and always will be — that of the 99%. Mobile squads raided four landowner villages, landowners were assaulted, their property seized, and their homes damaged. (eds.) You have to go” (Personal Communication, 2006). In a desperately unequal world facing a climate emergency, everyone has to pick a side. This they hoped would allow the mine to be repaired, while the BRA was gradually neutralised. At this stage in the dispute BCL feared that the PLA was intending to alter the legal arrangements which governed the mining operation, using threats and emotive rhetoric. As the crisis unfolded the national government chose to deploy the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) in an effort to reopen the mine and suppress the landowner movement. (1992). Green Left is turning 30 - Help us celebrate 30 years of people-powered media by posting a message to your socials using the hashtag #greenleft30. (2006) State-Corporate Crime: Wrongdoing at the Intersection of Business and Government, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutdgers University Press. Ogan, E. (1990). Led by Francis Ona and Perpetua Serero, this executive had a radical political agenda. Armed opposition to the BRA in the form of a group calling itself the Bougainville Liberation Front had arisen in several areas, leading Bougainville into the quagmire of civil war. A bloody civil war ensued, which took up to 20,000 lives on an island of 175,000 people. However, in August 1987, a new PLA executive was elected. ... justice to victims is an immense challenge given that there has been no investigation into the scale and details of atrocities. Having been briefed on BCL’s views, the national government looked for a middle road. Bathurst: Crawford House Press. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month. However, the BRA successfully shut the mine down just hours after its re-opening, while the peace agreement signing was stayed when a Provincial Minister involved in its construction was assassinated. Available online. Correspondence from Francis Ona to Rabbie Namaliu, 20 June 1989. Until Rio Tinto commits to full disclosure, any attempt to reopen the Bougainville mine will be another corporate blight on the deeply scarred people of this Melanesian island. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you. The dead foetus was then placed on the chest of the dead mother for all to see — as a warning.”. Regan, A. J., and Griffin, H. M. However, Australia’s greatest fear was that the uprising would cause PNG’s fragile state apparatus to crack. In the following case study you will be exposed to the calculations, relations, and decisions that led two democratic states and a major multinational mining corporation, to organise a systematic campaign of state violence that terrorised the residents of Bougainville for almost a decade. While more broadly, the collapse of the PNG state would seriously damage Australia’s regional leadership aspirations, and provoke uncomfortable questions from important allies (principally the United States and Indonesia). Soldiers fired machine guns attached by rope, and grenades from grenade launchers or simply dropped grenades into villages” (Rogers 2002: 233). Collier, P., and Hoeffler, A. Under this agreement the rebels permitted the North Solomons to resume its constitutional status as a province of PNG in return for greater autonomy, and an option for a referendum to be held over independence within ten to fifteen years. Post-war justice has been elusive, but until grievances are confronted, the consequences of impunity can be deadly. A senior PNGDF officer recalls: “We were not trained, we were not prepared, both in training and in our modus operandi. (2005). (ed.) Namaliu was prime minister of PNG from 1988 to 1992. Rio Tinto stands accused of being complicit in these atrocities. Forget about your differences and struggle for only one goal: to save the lives of our future generations”. (2004) State and Society in Papua New Guinea: The First Twenty-Five Years, Canberra: ANU E Press. As a result, they instructed a PNGDF officer, Leo Nuia, to prepare the PNGDF for a decisive assault on BRA strongholds. June 24, 2015 June 24, 2015 jwh1975 3 Comments. Sharp, N. (1997). ‘Winning Hearts and Mines: The Bougainville Crisis, 1988-90’, in Jackson, R., Murphy, E., and Poynting, S. Completely isolated from the outside world, the BRA and their political arm, the Bougainville Interim Government, were unable to normalise social conditions on the island during 1990. Photo by Francis O'Neill, via eco-action.org. Nevertheless, community leaders on Bougainville continued to negotiate with the BRA in an effort to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. A loyalist leader, Thomas Anis, claimed “we are fighting a civil war which involves arms, violence and psychological struggle for power – a warfare in which only the fittest will survive” (Post-Courier, 07/01/1991). British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto is seriously contemplating reopening its Bougainville copper and gold mine, Reuters reported on February 7. CLAIMS that Rio Tinto funded the civil war and fostered atrocities on Bougainville are being resurrected as a hurdle to the reopening there of the copper mine, whose proven reserves are worth at least $50 billion. Tanis, J. The International State Crime Initiative’s multi-media presentation on the Bougainville conflict, which includes BCL memorandums and meeting minutes, can be accessed here.]. One manager recalled: “These guys [PNG security forces] were ignorant thugs with guns. Bougainville: Before the Conflict. During this ‘law and order operation’ hundreds of homes were burnt to the ground by security forces, along with crops. ), Contemporary State Terrorism: Theory and Practice. In the latter event, the BRA’s opposition could be militarised and used as an ‘indigenous’ pro-government paramilitary (i.e. Bougainville remains part of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and has four elected representatives in the PNG national parliament. ‘Ecocide, Industrial Chemical Contamination and the Corporate Profit Imperative: The Case of Bougainville’, Social Justice, 23(4), 109–125. In response, company executives adamantly denied complicity. Il devient avocat, puis s'engage dans l'armée. The Bougainville Interim Government says that the Papua New Guinea Defence Force has begun to commit atrocities following the landing of troops in southern Bougainville's Siwai district on May 9. These sentiments were shared by PNG’s Police Commissioner. NSW government under scrutiny for strip searches, 'war on drugs', Morocco and Israel agree to normalise a sordid relationship, Refugees forcibly relocated from Mantra Hotel in Melbourne, Moreland council condemns secret immigration detention centre. (1990). Shot dead by the PNG soldiers, her abdomen was then cut open to remove the foetus. Despite having the support of loyalist paramilitaries, the state security forces continued to employ the same violent tactics witnessed during 1989-1990. That said, communities on Bougainville have yet to be fully briefed on Rio Tinto’s role in defence force operations during the bloody years of 1988-1990. Internment camps, the mortaring of children, aerial bombardments, assassinations, rape, and the denial of humanitarian aid — these are just some of the criminal state practices endured by civilians during Papua New Guinea’s decade-long civil war on the island of Bougainville (1988-1998). That night BCL’s Managing Director was awoken by a phone call from the company’s General Manager for Commercial, Ken Perry. During this invasion, Task Force 39, led by … Alex Smailes for images used in the background for chapters 4-6 and the contributors/title sections. Despite its attempt to glorify war and promote nationalist myths, he gives an honest account of Australian atrocities in war-both in decisions by the ruling class to throw away lives joining unnecessary conflicts and in the war crimes committed by the military in waging them. Green Left Weekly has been an outstanding proponent of clear-headed political analysis for years. (ed.) Mr Speaker, it had become a military problem requiring a military solution … The Government has accepted the inevitable reality that many lives will be lost and injured on both sides” (National Parliament of PNG, Record of Proceedings, 11 July, 1989). Achetez neuf ou d'occasion Both organisations provided considerable assistance. Canberra: ANU E Press. Gillespie, R. (1996). These conditions were unacceptable to the national government. Bougainville: Perspectives on a Crisis, Canberra: Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. A peace agreement resulted in the creation of the Autonomous Bougainville Government. Despite its remote location the development of a major copper deposit in Bougainville’s Crown Prince Ranges made the island one of PNG’s most strategically significant areas. Claims that Rio Tinto funded the civil war and fostered atrocities on Bougainville are being resurrected as a hurdle to the reopening there of Panguna copper mine, whose proven reserves are worth at least $50 billion.. Today the opposition to the mine is strongest overseas, especially among Australia’s trade unions and non-government organisations. (2003) The Political Economy of Armed Conflict: Beyond Greed and Grievance. De 1778 à 1782, Bougainville participe à la guerre d'ind… Young freedom fighter from the Bougainville Revolutionary Army in 1994. Lasslett, K. (2010) A Critical Introduction to State-Corporate Crime, International State Crime Initiative, Available online. The political structure of Bougainville as an autonomous region within Papua New Guinea reflects the important need, following the civil war, for parliamentary representation of different interest groups. I don’t know what I’d do without my weekly brain food. Denoon, D., and Spriggs, M. Clive Parabou for images used in the background for chapters 1, 2, 3 and 7, in addition to the title and further readings sections. Bougainville — Tier I croiseur. ‘Papua New Guinea at Thirty: Late Decolonisation and the Political Economy of Nation-Building’, Third World Quarterly, 27(1), 161–173. Available online. (2002). HAKO, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea – In the northern coastal villages of Hako Constituency on Buka Island, in Papua New Guinea’s eastern autonomous region of Bougainville, life … (eds.) 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