KONO, Bougainville – Bougainville is an autonomous province in Papua New Guinea, and it experienced civil war during its fight for independence from PNG. Jacob Naisi, deputy commander of the Bougainville Resistance Force (BRF), was shot dead at close range last Sunday afternoon in his village while walking home from the bakery with his two neices. It is believed that the shooters are the same group who commandeered a UN vehicle in the area last week.
Naisi, who was instrumental in the peace process, died as he was being rushed to the village. Donald Hamau, regional chairman for the BRF, said that Naisi’s death highlights the need for the Bougainville government to address lingering reconciliation and weapons disposal issues.
Bougainville president Joseph Kabui said that it was likely that Naisi was killed by Me’ekamui rebels to derail the peace process. He said, “It is the one spot in Bougainville that is still — there are tensions so on and so forth, still suspicions, still haunting the area.”
For more information, please see:
The National – BRF leader shot dead – 28 November 2007
Radio Australia – Bougainville President pays tribute to dead resistance fighter – 28 November 2007
Radio New Zealand International – Bougainville killing in Kono recalls former tensions – 28 November 2007