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

In 1989 in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, a copper mine co-owned by an Australian mining company and the PNG government became the focus of conflict. The introduction of Australian and New Guinean workers caused resentment and the exploitation of the mine became increasingly intertwined with issues of indigenous identity. What began as a campaign of sabotage escalated into a violent campaign for independence, resulting in the formation of both the Bougainville Revolutionary Army and a government-backed militia. Mary-Louise O’Callaghan describes the events that led to the declaration of Bougainville’s independence and the descent into lawlessness and violence that followed, ending with the frustrated peace efforts of the Arawa Peace Conference and the entry of the private military company Sandline International.