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Papua New Guinea

Yearbook 1996

Papua New Guinea. In June, the government launched a military offensive against the separatist guerrilla Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), which controlled a tenth of the mineral-rich island of Bougainville. According to Countryaah.com, the attack was assumed to be due to the government's frustration that the peace talks with the guerrillas had no result. It caused strong irritation to the neighboring Solomon Islands government and was also condemned by Australia and New Zealand.

In November, former rebel leader Gernard Sinato was named "prime minister" for Bougainville. He was considered to have the conditions to end the protracted civil war that so far required about 1,000 casualties.

1996 Papua New Guinea

Two-thirds of the population is employed in subsistence farming. Meanwhile, 0.3% of the workforce is employed in the mining industry, which accounts for 66% of the country's export earnings. The mines of Bougainville and Ok Tedi (from which gold is also extracted) have the world's largest copper deposits. The Porgera gold mine began production in 1990, and is the world's largest gold mine outside of South Africa. Another mine on the island of Lihir could possibly get even bigger. Mining is handled by multinational companies - some of Australian origin. Substantial oil resources have also been discovered, the exploitation of which depends on the construction of a 260-km long pipeline at a cost of $ 1 billion.

In 1989, the country forged closer ties with Southeast Asia as it signed a friendship and cooperation agreement with ASEAN and began negotiations with Malaysia. At the same time, the building was approved by a Soviet embassy in Port Moresby. In December, a marine law agreement was signed with Micronesia, which made it possible to benefit from the multilateral fisheries agreement existing between the states of the South Pacific and the United States.

In several parts of the country, violent clashes between government forces and the rural population came through 1991 and 92, which opposed the expansion of mining because of its negative impact on agriculture and the environment. The government therefore launched an economic boycott of the island of Bougainville and escalated the repression of separatist groups. The head of the separatist Bougainville Revolutionary Army, Francis Ona, declared the island independent and sought recognition from the rest of the world. The government responded by putting in the military.

In light of the increasingly violent situation that had already cost 1,500 lives, the government in August 1991 decided to reinstate the death penalty - 34 years after its abolition. This move was denounced by a large number of social movements. The Women's National Council believed that the reintroduction of the death penalty could lead to the reintroduction of the old principle of "compensation" by murder - an eye-for-eye, tooth-for-tooth principle in traditional Papuan culture.

 

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