Weaving consensus: The Papua New Guinea - Bougainville peace process
Publication date: 
2002
Accord issue: 
12

While tensions in Bougainville centred on the island’s copper mine, the broader context of the conflict was the longer-term development of Bougainvillean identity and political aspirations. Yash Ghai and Anthony Regan describe the process that resulted in Bougainville declaring itself independent as the Republic of North Solomons, before being reincorporated into PNG through the Bougainville Agreement in 1976. This included very limited provisions for decentralisation that were unable to address the inequalities and tensions later aggravated by the mine. However, the authors note that the decentralisation arrangements should not necessarily be dismissed as a failure because the tensions that fuelled the secessionist movement were the result of new and external forces.