• Bogenvil Revoluseneri Ami Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA)

FYI: The almost ten years of violent conflict that occurred on Bougainville emerged quite unexpectedly in late 1988. It was not initially related to secessionist demands, but to mining-related concerns largely involving revenue shares and mine employment opportunities for Bougainvilleans. From the early 1990s, the conflict took on two dimensions — a secessionist struggle between the BRA (Bougainville Revolutionary Army) and the PNG government, and an internal conflict between opposing Bougainvillean groups. Among the terrible outcomes of the conflict was the great trauma resulting from some several thousand deaths. Probably well over 1000 Bougainvilleans died in armed conflict, many more from extrajudicial killings on all sides, and an unknown number from the PNG blockade of BRA-controlled areas, while many more were injured. Further trauma came from the deep divisions between Bougainvilleans, destruction of most public infrastructure and private sector productive assets, destruction of the capacity of the local state to govern, and large-scale dislocation of people, with up to 60,000 people living in refugee camps by 1996. Further, the economy was left in ruins; from a position of being the best performing province in Papua New Guinea, Bougainville fell to the bottom. The profound social and economic effects of what is often referred to as ‘the crisis’ continue to shape attitudes and opportunities. More about the Bougainville Crisis.

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