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BUKA, Papua New Guinea: April 20, 2021: 1.25pm  (THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS): The Roreinang Coup was a major turning point in the Bougainville Crisis for the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), says Autonomous Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama.

In 1997, there was a rift in the BRA command between the late supreme leader Francis Ona and the late Joseph Kabui on how Bougainville would push its fight for independence.

Ona opted for all-out war with the national government with a “fight to the last man” order.

Kabui chose a diplomatic approach through peaceful means.

Toroama, then the commander of the BRA forces, sided with Kabui who went on to become the first President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government in 2005.

Toroama was in the South Nasioi constituency to launch its independence-ready mission at Roreinang village.

He told the people of how the coup played out to ensure peace on Bougainville and the inception of the autonomous arrangements.

“The road to peace was a difficult one. So too will be the road to independence for Bougainville,” Toroama said.

“Our preparation is key to Bougainville achieving independence-ready status. We have to be fiscally self-reliant and our government must show signs of good governance.”

He has already rallied the call for independence-readiness in all 33 constituencies on Bougainville.

He said social responsibility must prevail in the communities and that Bougainville’s independence must be home-grown.

ABG agencies have been being directed to integrate the initiative as their primary objective.

Meanwhile, the  prospects of economic growth in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will improve following the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) reforms in the pipeline.

Its Inward Investment Act is being reviewed to ascertain its practicality in generating revenue and improving economic growth.

President Ishmael Toroama said the legislation lacked incentives in key sectors such as mining, fisheries, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.

“(It) is a copy-paste version of the PNG act. We need our own act tailored to suit our objectives to stimulate our economy,” Toroama said.

“We are looking at models around the world that are similar to our circumstances and practical for Bougainville to emulate.”

The review will also look at investments in existence since 1974 and recent investments by the ABG.

The ABG has already initiated high-impact economic development projects on Bougainville such as the Bana Special Economic Zone in South Bougainville, Tonolei Integrated Agriculture Project and the Manetai Limestone Project in Central Bougainville.

The projects will take time to be developed before they reach their production stages. ABG also plans to develop its fiscal capacity in the “low-hanging fruits” economic sectors to generate revenue faster…..

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