ArticlePDF Available

The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine

Authors:

Abstract

The Bougainville Peace Agreement did not bring the peace to Bougainville many had hoped for. It brought a stalemate of lawlessness presided over by a weak unarmed autonomous government that tries to navigate its way around the armed gangs formed from the residue of the civil war. The gangs control the half of the island which houses one of the world's largest deposits of copper and gold, the Panguna mine. This paper offers a close look at these gangs and seeks to answer the questions of (1) how each gang relates to the mine through the traditional rules of land tenure; (2) how much control each gangs exercises over the mine and (3) what each gang's views on reopening of the mine are.
April 2013
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
The Gangs of Bougainville:
Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
By Stan Starygin*
Abstract
The Bougainville Peace Agreement did not bring the peace to Bougainville many had
hoped for. It brought a stalemate of lawlessness presided over by a weak unarmed
autonomous government that tries to navigate its way around the armed gangs
formed from the residue of the civil war. The gangs control the half of the island
which houses one of the world’s largest deposits of copper and gold, the Panguna
mine. This paper oers a close look at these gangs and seeks to answer the quesons
of (1) how each gang relates to the mine through the tradional rules of land tenure;
(2) how much control each gangs exercises over the mine and (3) what each gang’s
views on reopening of the mine are.
Keywords: Bougainville, Crisis, civil war, Combatant, Reconciliaon, Gang, Panguna
mine
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
Vol. 3| No. 1
April 2013
www.cesran.org
Stan Starygin has been involved with legal and judicial reform projects in early recovery and post-
conict countries across Africa and the South Pacic. He rst arrived in Papua New Guinea in
2009, eight years aer the Bougainville Peace Agreement, originally serving for one year and then
returning in 2010 and remaining throughout the period of wring of this paper. The paper was
almost enrely researched and wrien in Papua New Guinea, with intermient crical input into
the developing dra from Bougainvilleans and those others familiar with the Bougainville Crisis
and its present state.
Email: stan.starygin@gmail.com
Introducon1
It will be dicult to dispute that the internaonal media determines which conicts the world
follows. Certain armed conicts (mainly those which involve US or European interests), in the
opinion of the internaonal media, merit sustained aenon throughout their duraon while
others barely merit a menon. The Bougainville conict (oen known as ‘the Bougainville
Crisis’) belongs in the laer category. While having received reasonably signicant coverage
from the Australian and New Zealand news media, it developed, reached its peak and
transformed unnoced by the rest of the world.
The Bougainville Crisis started out as a series of terrorist acts2 staged by a certain segment of
the tradional owners of the land which housed one of the world’s largest copper and gold
mines, the Panguna mine. The terrorism was aimed at rst at the property of Bougainville
Copper Limited (BCL), - the Brish company Rio Tinto’s Australian subsidiary - which operated
the mine, and then secondly at the Papua New Guinea Defense Force (‘PNGDF’) that was
deployed to quell the unrest. These terrorist acts had the eect of shung down the mine.
The ght against the Papua New Guinea Defense Force quickly escalated to the reigning of
Bougainville’s struggle for independence from PNG3 based upon a well-entrenched belief that
“Bougainville would be beer o being independent”4 and to “broaden the support base” for
the escalang ght.5
While theories on the causes of the Bougainville Crisis abound,6 there is no credible way of
believing that a conict of that scale and intensity would have happened without the
Panguna mine.7 There is equally no plausible argument to be made that a claim of monetary
compensaon of 10 billion kinas (“at the me approximately $US 10 billion”)8 and its
rejecon by the BCL formed at least the inial grievance the sasfacon of which the
56
Journal
of Conict
Transformation
& Security
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
1. My hearelt gratude goes out to those on Bougainville who helped me research this paper. These
individuals are referenced in this paper under codenames as retaliaon for many of them is not a
mere word they read in literature but that which aects every bre of their lives. I would also like to
thank my partner Krisna and my son Nathan for being my anchor throughout this process.
2. Filer, ‘The Bougainville Rebellion’, 1
3. Connell, ‘The Future of an Island Microstate’, 193
4. Regan, ‘Current Development in the Pacic, 273
5. Banks, ‘Understanding ‘Resource’ Conicts,27
6. Regan, ‘Current Development in the Pacic,269-270, Hilson, ‘Mining and Civil Conict,27. Hawsley,
Papua New Guinea at Thirty,168. 3
7. Banks, Understanding ‘Resource’ Conicts, 27. Filer, The Bougainville Rebellion’, 6. Boege,
Peacebuilding and State Formaon,29 Braithwaite and Nickson, ‘Timing Truth, Reconciliaon, and
Jusce,452. Newell and Sheehy, ‘Corporate Militaries and States’.
8. Regan, ‘Current Development in the Pacic,277.
landowners sought through the violence.9 The man who led the group that claimed this
compensaon, Francis Ona, stood to personally benet from the sasfacon of the claim
through which he sought to compensate himself and his family for otherwise “lile
entlement to [mining lease] land […] and […] scant rent and compensaon”10 they
received.11
The rst acts of terrorism led to the establishment of a small terror group which called itself
the Bougainville Revoluonary Army (‘BRA’). The use of the name was quickly expanded to
become a rallying call to which “[t]he strongest support came from frustrated young men
with few economic opportunies for whom membership of the BRA gave power and status”12
and who were not “direct beneciaries of the mine”;13 a number of these men were engaged
in criminal acvity prior to the beginning of the Crisis and the incepon of the BRA. Despite
the ring of its name the BRA was never a cohesive force, with the central command oen
having trouble imposing its will on the smaller local groups that comprised the BRA.14 The
constuent groups were of great diversity and ranged from “disciplined and highly
movated” to those that were “lile more than criminal gangs”.15
Disagreements on how to proceed within the central command of the BRA eventually led to a
schism, which divided those who went on to join the peace process (led by Ishmael Toroama)
which culminated in a peace agreement (Bougainville Peace Agreement) in 2001, from those
who categorically refused any involvement in the peace agreement (led by Ona).16 Following
the signing of the BPA, Bougainville’s autonomy within the Papua New Guinean state it
established gave rise to the creaon of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (‘ABG’).
Many of those who joined the peace process ended up in the ABG reaping the nancial
benets of PNG and internaonal donor funding;17 those who did not connued on with what
one observer aptly called “Rambo-style leadership”18 bringing the conict down to the level
of jockeying for posion of control over strategic locales. Observers of the peace process
ancipated a threat to the peace contained in the laer, more specically in Ona and his
followers,19 and so it has come to pass with the “Rambos” connuing to engage in armed
violence and connuing to control access to the Panguna mine20 and other resource sites. The
United Naons and Pacic countries-sponsored eort at disarming these individuals
experienced an eventual failure, aer inial success,21 with scores of contained weapons
having made their way back to the gangs by 2006 and remain in their possession today.
57
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
9. Filer, ‘The Bougainville Rebellion,1.Islam, Secession Crisis in Papua New Guinea, 453 .White,
Including Local Communie, 332 .
10. Regan, ‘Current Development in the Pacic,277. Strathern and Stewart, ‘The Problems of Peace-
Makers,689.
11. Kopel, et al, ‘Firearms Possession,397.
12. Regan, ‘Current Development in the Pacic,277.
13. Islam, ‘Secession Crisis in Papua New Guinea,453-454.
14. Sam Kauona, Palmerston, New Zealand, 16 June 2000, interview with NZine Regan, Current Develop-
ment in the Pacic,278. Boege, ‘Peacebuilding and State Formaon,29, 31. Oswald Iten, ‘Peace Trea-
ty for Bougainville’.
15. Regan, ‘Current Development in the Pacic,278.
16. Regan, ‘The Bougainville Polical Selement,115-116.
17. Kent and Barne, ‘The Bougainville Polical Selement,34, 38.
18. Filer, ‘The Bougainville Rebellion,11.
19. . Regan, ‘The Bougainville Polical Selement,124.
20. Boege, ‘How to Maintain Peace,355.
21. Spark and Bailey, ‘Disarmament in Bougainville,606.
This paper examines the personas of the main protagonists of this “Rambo-style leadership”,
their relaon to the Panguna mine, to one another, to the ABG, the level of control they
exercise over the Panguna mine, and their views on reopening of the mine.
Ishmael Toroama
One of these “Rambos” is a Central Bougainville nave Ishmael Toroama. Western audiences
rst met Toroama in a documentary entled The Coconut Revoluon which sought to portray
the BRA as a gang of convivial guerrillas in pursuit of self-reliance and return to their
tradional lifestyle.
The less cartoonish Toroama is the man who signed the Bougainville Peace Agreement
(‘BPA’) as “Chief of Defense, Bougainville Revoluonary Army”. Toroama joined the BRA in
the early days of the movement and according to some contested accounts was the rst BRA
guerrilla to obtain an automac weapon from the enemy, the Papua New Guinea Defense
Force (‘PNGDF’).22 Having gained a posion of respect early in the conict, Toroama quickly
became a prominent ‘eld commander’. He became a natural choice for successor in the
opinion of the BRA’s original chief of defense Sam Kauona when Kauona decided to leave the
BRA in 1999 to “study in New Zealand”.23
With the BRA never having been a cohesive military force, cohesion was not forged under
Toroama’s command. In fact, further fracturing and inadvertent devolvement of command
power connued.24 Therefore the queson remains as to what extent of command power
Toroama represented when he signed o on the BPA as “Chief of Defense, Bougainville
Revoluonary Army”. While the extent of Toroama’s command power over the BRA at the
me of signing of the BPA is a topic for another study, it can be said with certainty here that
wherever that power was held it was not held by the BRA facon loyal to Ona, evidenced by
Toroama giving Ona an ulmatum to disarm in 2003.25 During the outset of the BPA-
prescribed disarmament process, as disnct from other aempted disarmament processes,
Toroama presented himself as ‘an agent of peace’ and placed all the blame for disrupons in
the process on the Ona facon of the BRA, now known as ‘the Me’ekamui Defense Force’.26
Toroama’s desire to be seen as part of the soluon during this period is beyond doubt. His
acons and those of “his men” tell a more conicted tale.27 It is evident that Toroama’s
version of the story was accepted by the internaonal community who connued working on
disarmament with and through him. The internaonal community’s honeymoon with
Toroama connued despite “his men” re-opening the weapons containers and rearming
themselves. Historical studies will show whether Toroama’s argument for rearmament can be
substanated by security concerns, however, this paper will limit itself to acknowledging the
fact that such rearmament did take place. Starng from that point and given that the
acronym ‘BRA’ was relegated to history Toroama began to preside over what can be best
58
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
22. Braithwaite et al., ‘Peacebuilding Compared Working Paper 6: Bougainville (2009).Informant C2, Port
Moresby, February, 2012, Personal Interview.
23. Sam Kauona, Kieta, Arawa, Bougainville, April, 2009, Personal Interview
24. Informants C3 and S1, Arawa, Bougainville, October 2009, personal Interview.
25. Toroama’s Leer to Ona (March 11, 2003).
26. Toroama’s Leer to Ona (March 11, 2003)
27. Spark & Bailey, ‘Disarmament in Bougainville, 605. Toroama’s Leer to Ona, 11 March 2003.
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
described as a street gang composed of ex-combatants and the new crop of ‘wannabe’
combatants who were too young to ght in the Crisis.28
Stories of old glory helped Toroama maintain some of his Crisis-period support base and
aract new recruits but more tangible things were needed to elicit longer-term loyalty. From
fairly early days of Australian administraon in Papua New Guinea the governing authority
noted that much of Papua New Guinean wealth was channeled into “the ownership of pigs
and staging of feasts”.29 These were the main manifestaons of status and those who sought
status sought to devise ways of accumulang pigs and using them to stage feasts. Toroama
saw a shortcut to acquiring status through tradional means by tapping the largesse brought
to Bougainville by Australian Agency for Internaonal Development (‘AusAID’) and the United
Naons Development Program (‘UNDP’), a bulk of whose eorts were geared towards post-
conict reconciliaon through tradional means.
Tradional reconciliaons in Bougainville are complex processes that, at a minimum, include:
(1) rst approach and “cooling-down payment” (somemes known as ‘payment to stay the
anger’); (2) payment of the compensaon; (3) acceptance of compensaon and forgiveness;
(4) a ritual feast and (5) a vow of non-connuaon of the conict.30 Besides being lengthy,
these processes are also very expensive. Toroama fashioned himself into a true master of
ceremonies for these events. This role went beyond the use of his celebrity to bring
disputants together and grew to include event management by Toroama’s gang and those
businesses in which Toroama had ‘an interest’ which, in turn, became the main conduits for
AusAid and UNDP’s reconciliaon dollars.31 There is no reason to believe that either AusAid or
UNDP (at least at the management level) intended to create an environment for enriching
Toroama and his gang;32 the enrichment that did occur took place due to these agencies’ lack
of understanding of the context of the residual Bougainville conict, local power dynamics,33
absence of long-term vision or strategy,34 methods of or eorts to evaluate aid
eecveness,35 and these agencies’ equaon of the amounts disbursed for reconciliaon
ceremonies with these agencies’ eecveness as partners in the peace process.
As the volume of reconciliaon largesse was reduced towards the end of 2009,36 Toroama
began turning to other sources of income for himself and his gang. The rusng Panguna mine
equipment was his natural next target. The owner of this equipment, Bougainville Copper
Limited, which connues to operate in Papua New Guinea, approached the ABG in the wake
of illegal dismantling of the equipment, with a request to regulate the ongoing dismantling
and sale of the Panguna mine equipment in a manner that would ensure that “some benet
59
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
28. Kent and Barne, ‘The Bougainville Polical Selement,38.
29. Gewertz and Errington, ‘Emerging Class in Papua New Guinea,’ 13-14.
30. Tanis, ‘Reconciliaon: My Side of the Island’.
31. Informants C1, Arawa, Bougainville. October 2009 and C2, Port Moresby, January, 2012, personal in-
terview
32. Program Specialist for Prevenon and Recovery of the UNDP PNG Country Oce Jörg Schimmel, Port
Moresby, February 2012, Personal Interview
33. Program Specialist for Prevenon and Recovery of the UNDP PNG Country Oce Jörg Schimmel, Port
Moresby, February 2012, Personal Interview
34. Jorg Schimmel, Port Moresby, February 2012, Personal Interview
35. Jorg Schimmel, Port Moresby, Feburary 2012, Personal Interview. Personal Discussion with Bougain-
ville AusAid Representave Edwina Bes, Buka, Bougainville, January 2010.
36. Jörg Schimmel, Port Moresby, February 2012, Personal Interview.
[s] [were] passed back to the landowners and to Bougainvilleans in general, and that [the
export of scrap metal be] done with [ABG] knowledge and approval and [that it] compli[ed]
with the laws of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea”.37 The Komeri Holdings Limited was
incorporated as a result of this request and as a mine-lease area landowners company.38 The
landowners did secure the controlling interest in the company but the armed men of the area
did not miss a chance to aach themselves onto this acon. Toroama’s gang was no
excepon to that; in fact it secured the largest interest (20%) in the company among the
armed gangs. The volality of this uneasy alliance with other gangs was evident from the
outset of the project and it has come to a head on a number of occasions on which
Toroama’s gang clashed with that of Chris Uma in armed confrontaon. The two’s current
parcipaon in the stripping of the Panguna mine equipment keeps the situaon around the
township of Arawa -the town built by BCL to house the Panguna mine personnel- tense and
unpredictable with Arawa’s denizens being aware that both gangs have weapons and are
ready to use them at the slightest of provocaon.
In addion to the scrap metal project Toroama’s gang oers ‘protecon service’ to local
businesses and helps them ‘ward o’ compeon.39 This maa-like authority of Toroama’s
gang is manifest in denizens turning to Toroama for issues of law and order more readily than
they do to the unarmed and oen powerless ABG police, a police force that is unarmed as a
result of arrangements agreed to during the peace process.
Toroama’s BRA-days notoriety, his role in the peace process, the magnitude of his post-Crisis
‘economic acvity’ and the possession of weapons and loyalty of the men who carry them
have made Toroama a viable polical force in Central Bougainville. Toroama has not won an
elecon yet but it is not for want of trying. He is no underdog and has come a solid second in
the last two elecons, although the voters each me preferred a civil servant with a record of
service to Toroama.40 Encouraged by his numbers and undeterred by defeat Toroama has
announced his candidacy for President of Bougainville for the 2015 elecon.
Toroama’s relaonship to the Panguna mine through the rules of tradional landownership is
very simple: he has none; he is from the Kongara Mountains that lie miles away from the
Panguna mine-lease area. This may explain his statement that now that a war has been
fought over it the Panguna mine “belongs to all Bougainvilleans”.41 Toroama’s present
connecon to the mine rests on the stake his gang holds in the Komeri Holdings and the fact
that he and his gang currently maintain a physical presence at the Panguna mine. To reach his
present locaon at the mine Toroama has to travel through a checkpoint (the Morgan
Juncon Roadblock) maintained by Uma’s gang, a fact that signicantly curtails Toroama’s
scope of control of the mine. Besides the vast amounts of scrap metal presently remaining at
60
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
37. Personal Email BCL General Manager Paul Coleman, 9 March 2012.
38. Personal Email BCL General Manager Paul Coleman, 9 March 2012.
39. An instance this ‘protecon’ occurred in May, 2011 when Toroama’s gang was reported as having
red shots at newly-established businesses to prevent them from compeng with their ‘client’ busi-
nesses (Post-Courier, ABG Walking Tightrope, May 27, 2011 + Informant C2).
40. In the Bougainville elecon of 2010, he came second for the South Nasioi Constuency with 707 votes
to the winner’s 817. Laukai, ‘New Dawn on Bougainville’, Elecons Results Update. In the naonal
(PNG) elecon of 2012, he came second for Central Bougainville with 18,629 votes (Toroama had the
lead for a period of me) to the winner’s 23,549. Laukai, ‘Final Count’.
41. Callick, ‘Polics: Countdown Begins for Panguna’.
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
the Panguna mine, it is not dicult to see that Toroama is likely to want to connue
maintaining his base in the area for as long as possible as he jockeys for posion in
negoaons for reopening of the mine (in which he is likely to want a security contract for his
gang). Toroama’s relaonship with Uma will doubtless connue being a source of insecurity
and instability for the area but the current scrap metal sharing arrangement appears to be
able to preserve the status quo and might be a blueprint for future mine-related
arrangements. It is, however, doubul that Toroama will be a producve force in the
negoaon of reopening of the Panguna mine unless he changes his posion on Ona’s 10
billion-kina claim “remain[ing] extant”42 and his atude towards the BCL management from
“[w]e could get the blood and spit all over his [Peter Taylor; BCL Director] face […] [t]hat’s it,
very simple […] you have not paid on the land that you are walking on”43 to something,
perhaps, less gory.
Chris Uma
Coming into the BRA Chris Uma was one of the “number of […] men [who] were engaged in
criminal acvity prior to the beginning of the Crisis” (he was convicted of a criminal charge).
Uma’s notoriety at the outset of the Crisis came from his older brother, John Ampona, who
was the putave killer of the rst PNGDF soldier to die in the Bougainville Crisis.44 Uma built
on that notoriety and made a name for himself by being an implementer of Ona’s ‘cleansing’
policy which, among other aspects of it, meant the execuon of reputed sorcerers and
spies.45 Uma stayed loyal to Ona through the ris in and the eventual split of the BRA which
paid o by propelling him to the posion of General Commander of Ona’s facon of the BRA
named the Me’ekamui Defense Force (displacing MDF’s original General Commander, Moses
Pipiro, who was removed from that posion in the midst of allegaons of an extramarital
aair involving Pipiro and Ona’s wife).46 Uma remained in that posion unl Ona’s death in
2005 which resulted in the fracturing of Ona’s gang. Uma went baka otong (‘out on his own’)
while connuing to refer to himself as the Me’ekamui Defense Force and later ‘the Original
Me’ekamui’ in order to disnguish himself from the other splinter facons of Ona’s now
defunct gang and to stake his claim to Ona’s legacy. In an aempt to aain the appearance of
government, which has always been held by Ona’s gang, and being more militarily minded,
Uma joined forces with a number of respected elders of the area, Blaise Iruniu, William
Mungta and Blaise Barasio, to form the polical wing of his gang. Uma’s gang considers itself
to be “the government of Bougainville” and dismisses the ABG as “a small group of people
who are inuenced by white men”.47
Uma has never been a part of the peace process or disarmament and no amount of eorts
have had any tangible eect on co-opng him.48 As such, he has never beneted from the
61
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
42. Callick, ‘Polics: Countdown Begins for Panguna’,
43. Thomson, ‘Blood and Treasure’.
44. Informant C2, Port Moresby,January-March, 2012, personal interview.
45. Informant C2, Port Moresby,January-March, 2012, personal interview
46. Informant C1. Arawa, Bougainville, October, 2009, personal interview. C2, Port Moresby,January-
March, 2012, personal interview.
47. Marshall, ‘A Killer Deal’, Australian Broadcasng Corporaon.
48. President Tanis’ cooperave agreement with Uma’s gang (and the other branch of the Me’ekamui)
that was hailed “historic” at the me of signing has achieved nothing other than ABG paying o Uma’s
gang to get its services past the Roadblock, a method of ‘cooperaon’ with Uma’s gang which would
have been available to the ABG, cooperave agreement or not.
largesse that came with the peace process, which others, like Toroama, so adroitly tapped. As
the pressure to deliver for his gang mounts and as paence of those loyal to Uma is wearing
thin, Uma has to display ingenuity to keep the lid on the situaon. He resents Toroama for
being “a tycoon”49 and for being constantly compared to him but rides his coaails in the
scrap metal business Toroama dominates. While Toroama brings manpower, equipment and
connecons to the table of scrap metal business, Uma’s gang, essenally, gets paid for having
an armed checkpoint which stands in Toroama’s way to the wharf from which scrap metal is
exported to internaonal markets. Uma’s gang’s other sources of income include the ‘visa
fee’ the gang charges foreign visitors to pass through the Morgan Juncon Roadblock (200
kinas (US$ 100) per visitor) and ‘the aerhours fee’ (10 kinas (US $5) charged to any vehicle
that wishes to pass through the Roadblock outside its ‘regular business hours’, and helping
small gold operators secure mining ‘rights’.50 Occasionally, Uma’s gang prots from the ABG
who pays it o to bring government services to the communies cut o by the Roadblock.51
It has been established prior that money is integral to status in Bougainville society but is not
its sole foundaon. Recognion of one’s status by an outsider too carries signicant weight.
In Uma’s case his maintenance of the Roadblock has garnered him recognion of a number of
high-prole outsiders (including that of the Australian ambassador to PNG who ceremonially
brought Uma a pig as a reconciliaon gi for Australia’s role in the Crisis).52
Uma is originally from the Kerei’nari Valley and is married into Araba village, both of which
are suciently removed from the Panguna mine-lease land to prevent him from having any
claim to the mine through the tradional rules of land tenure. Prior to Ona’s death Uma
maintained a tenuous connecon to the Panguna land through him and others loyal to Ona;
this is no longer the case. What Uma does have is the control of an armed checkpoint set up
at the gateway to Panguna.
The checkpoint makes Uma’s views on reopening of Panguna relevant. These views have
undergone drasc change in the past few years. In Ona’s lifeme and shortly aer his death
they were consistent with those of Ona, i.e. (1) mining was the source of all sorts of
disrupons in the tradional society of Bougainville; (2) no discussions of the possibility of
reopening of the Panguna mine may be held unl Bougainville is an independent country.53
Three years aer Ona’s death Uma’s posion on the issue shied to two condions: (1)
“development can [should] come rst then mining can come later”;54 and (2) “the Me’ekamui
is government [of Bougainville] and the Me’ekamui Defense Force is recognized as
authority”.55 Aer another three years Uma’s posion changed again, this me to a radical
departure from his uncompromising posions of the past to “make a clear statement to the
Australian government and the world that, today, we [he and his gang] are talking [about the
62
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
49. Informant C2, Port Moresby, Jan-March 2012, personal interview.
50. Informant C1, Arawa, Bougainville, Jan 2010, October 2009, personal interview
51. E.g. In 2007, the ABG paid out 30,000 kinas (US$ 15,000) in cash, pigs and other food for Uma’s gang’s
permission to resurface the ‘Bougainville Highway’ beyond the Morgan Juncon Roadblock.
52. ‘Rebel Leader Wants to Talk Radio Australia, (August 10, 2011) at hp://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
pacbeat/stories/201108/s3290464.htm (last accessed: February 14, 2012).
53. Kenneth, ‘Me’ekamui General Stands Ground’.
54. Marshall, ‘A Killer Deal’, Australian Broadcasng Corporaon.
55. Gridne, ‘Bougainville Landowners Call’., Australian Associated Press, December 12, 2008.
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
possibility of reopening the Panguna mine]”.56 Uma’s sudden shi to readiness to “talk” is not
supported by his gang’s ‘polical arm’ the leader of which (William Munta), speaking on
behalf of the gang in the same year, stated that the gang’s posion was “no to the re-opening
of the mine [and] let [the] Panguna mine remain closed”.57 This statement is most curious
against the backdrop of Uma’s statement that the “Panguna mine can open under the name
of Chris Uma”58 a mere four months later. While Uma is now willing to “talk”, by his own
admission, nothing has been negoated yet which presumably means that Uma’s orders on
access to the mine, worded as “[i]f anybody crosses this river just shoot it [sic], and report it
to me what you’ve done”,59 remain standing.
Uma does not have many allies in Central Bougainville: as outlined earlier his relaonship
with Toroama is a tenuous status quo and Uma is militantly opposed to the Panguna
Landowners Associaon60 with whom BCL is intent on working. Contrary to his talking the talk
of being able to “solve the problem of Bougainville”,61 Uma will not be able to walk the walk
as such would require having the alliances he does not have. That said, no negoaons to
reopen the Panguna mine will be viable without his being a part of them so long as he
maintains the roadblock unless soluons to his presence at Panguna are found which are
either not being contemplated now or for which condions presently do not exist. Being
aware of this, some actors integral to such negoaons have begun the process of building
alliances with Uma’s gang. As such, the other Me’ekamui gang in Central Bougainville, which
is composed of persons who are likely to have a claim to the Panguna land through the rules
of tradional tenure has recently reunited with Uma’s gang.62 In addion, the Panguna
landowners’ company, the Khomeri Holdings, gave Uma’s gang a 5% stake in it in recognion
of his posion, and the Australian ambassador to PNG has made overtures to Uma.63
Whether these will result in Uma being co-opted into peaceful development is not as
pernent a queson as whether a mul-billion dollar development project, such as the
reopening of the Panguna mine, can rely upon Uma’s stability long-term.
Moses Pipiro and Philip Miriori
During the acve-combat stage of the Crisis Moses Pipiro was a platoon commander in BRA’s
famed ‘A’ Company. The schism in the BRA leadership (based on the divergence of opinion on
how to further prosecute the conict provided to Pipiro an opportunity for advancement and
propelled him to the highest military posion in Ona’s splinter army, the Me’ekamui Defense
Force. Allegaons of an aair with Ona’s wife cost Pipiro the elevated posion and ejected
him from the MDF. With a small gang of supporters, Pipiro maintained his presence in the
Panguna area opposing the peace process. Ona’s death in 2005 created a succession power
63
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
56. ‘Rebel Leader Wants to Talk’, Radio Australia, August 10, 2011. Available at hp://
www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacbeat/stories/201108/s3290464.htm (last accessed: February 14, 2012).
57. Mungta, ‘A Total Disaster for the Future’.
58. ‘Rebel Leader Wants to Talk’, Radio Australia, August 10, 2011 Available at hp://
www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacbeat/stories/201108/s3290464.htm (last accessed: February 14, 2012).
59. Marshall, ‘A Killer Deal’, Australian Broadcasng Corporaon, June 17, 2008.
60. Gridne, ‘Bougainville Landowners Call’. Kenneth, ‘Bougainville Rebel Warns’, Post-Courier.
61. ‘Rebel Leader Wants to Talk’, Radio Australia, August 10, 2011. Available at hp://
www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacbeat/stories/201108/s3290464.htm (last accessed: February 14, 2012).
62. Tseraha, ‘Me’ekamui and ABG Do Deal’, Post-Courier, March 19, 2010.. Laukai, ‘Pipiro Happy’.April 20,
2011.
63. ‘Rebel Leader Wants to Talk’, Radio Australia.
struggle which ended in Uma leaving the area immediate to the Panguna mine and Ona’s
purported brother,64 Philip Miriori, and Philip Takaung declaring themselves Ona’s
successors. Miriori and Takaung brought Pipiro back to command the MDF troop severely
depleted by the departure of Uma’s loyalists.
Miriori and Takaung rebranded Ona’s Kingdom of Me’ekamui into the Me’ekamui
Government of Unity (‘MGU’) and signicantly soened Ona’s stance on the ABG resulng in
a landmark memorandum of understanding (‘the Panguna Communiqué’) in 2007. The
Panguna Communiqué signaled, in part, a complete break from Ona’s posions and, in part,
their signicant alteraon. As such, through it, the MGU denounced Uma’s checkpoint as
having “abused and misused its objecves and rules of engagement under the Me’ekamui
government” and as having the purpose “to blockade the Panguna people”,65 condemned
“the use of arms and violence”66 and acquiesced to what can, perhaps, be best termed as a
‘two polical viewpoints, one administrave structure’ arrangement with the ABG.67 In
return, even though ABG has no such authority by any constuonal provision and ABG
reciprocated by allowing the MGU to have its “own conngent plans on arms containment”68
and, of course, a promise of bringing resoluon of “social issues and development issues”,69
“nancial assistance, economic benets, development packages, good and service”,70 and
“other services”;71 all of these translate into ABG bringing money into the MGU-dominated
area, which doubtless was the main reason for this rapprochement for the MGU.
Both Pipiro and Miriori are from the mine-lease area (Pipiro is originally from Pangka village
and now lives in Mosinau village and Miriori is originally from Guava village and now lives in
Parakake village) and, as such, are likely72 to stand to benet nancially from reopening of
the mine under the tradional rules of land tenure. Pipiro and Miriori’s landowning posion
is strengthened by the fact of their physical presence in the mine-lease area and the weapons
that remain in possession of Pipiro and his gang. Therefore, Pipiro and Miriori’s views on
reopening of the mine are doubly important. These views are reasonably well arculated and
have been widely publicized. At the signing of the Panguna Communiqué MGU’s posion on
reopening of the mine was stated as requiring the existence of two condions: (1) statehood
for Bougainville; and (2) compensaon for the people of Panguna for “the death and
destrucon arising as a result of the Bougainville Conict”.73 If these condions were not
possible, the MGU pledged to agree to an alternave set of condions which consisted of
these condions: (1) the mining powers and funcons are drawn down to the ABG (from the
naonal government) and (2) a review of the “mining laws, policies, and legal agreements”.74
MGU made landowner representaon “at any talks regarding mining at Panguna”
mandatory.75
64
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
64. Informant C2, Port Moresby, February 2012, personal interview.
65. Panguna Communiqué, art. 7.
66. Panguna Communiqué, art. 6.
67. Panguna Communiqué, art. 4
68. Panguna Communiqué, art. 6.
69. Panguna Communiqué, art. 4.
70. Panguna Communiqué, art. 5.
71. Panguna Communiqué, art. 9.
72. Informant C2, Port Moresby,February, 2012, personal interview.
73. Panguna Communiqué, art. 10 (b) (i & ii).
74. Panguna Communiqué, art. 10 (b) (iii & iv).
75. Panguna Communiqué, art. 11.
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
Neither set of condions has transpired since the signing of the Panguna Communiqué.
Consequently, by the leer of the Panguna Communiqué, MGU would have been under an
obligaon to “shelve any talks on the issue of mining at Panguna”. This, however, has not
been the case as reports of the MGU inving various stakeholders to negoate have
abounded.76 In the course of these invitaons the MGU has relied on a ulitarian asseron
that it “control[s] the assets at Panguna and all natural resources within its borders”,77 rather
than on the spirit or the leer of the Panguna Communiqué. While maintaining and
developing its ‘mandate of heaven’ theories78 and making other loy declaraons,79 the MGU
has not let more earthly consideraons remain idle. MGU’s “20%” model of distribuon of
“the physical gold”80 is indicave of such consideraons.
The elements of the MGU’s posion on perming the former mine operator, BCL, to come
back may appear highly conicng to some. On the other hand, Miriori is one of the plains
in a lawsuit led in US courts against BCL’s parent company, Rio Tinto, which seeks a nding
on allegaons of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and “overs[eeing] mass
inicon of death and suering”81 and compensaon for the same. On the other hand,
despite these allegaons of horrendous crimes, the MGU invites (with Miriori issuing the
invitaon) the defendant’s subsidiary to talks on long-term cooperaon.82 MGU’s message to
Rio Tinto and BCL is suciently clear (albeit euphemized as “the internaonal groups
responsible for the previous humiliaons [sic] and contaminaons [sic] will not be welcomed
back unl all issues are resolved”):83 MGU is willing to work with them but they have to pay
their way back in at the MGU’s rate. Given that the MGU has maintained Ona’s original
claim,84 this rate is likely to be 10 billion kinas (US$5 billion). As Rio Tinto and BCL are unlikely
to want to/be able to meet this requirement, it is not dicult to foresee that the MGU’s
posion on the same is likely to have the eect of rupture on any negoaons with Rio Tinto
and BCL.
In the absence of response to its invitaons from BCL and while waing through the lawsuit’s
meandering route through the US judicial system,85 the MGU keeps itself busy by making
relavely smaller claims for compensaon upon which it hinges the reopening of the Panguna
mine.86 In the meanme, Miriori and Pipiro’s families live o of the small businesses they run
in the Panguna area, pan for gold in Panguna’s vicinity, and collect their share of the proceeds
from the sale of the BCL equipment for scrap.
65
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
76. For example Laukai, ‘Me’ekamui Invites Stakeholders’, New Dawn on Bougainville.
77. Laukai, ‘Me’ekamui Invites Stakeholders’, New Dawn on Bougainville.
78. The MGU Human Rights Declaraon. Available at (hp://governmentofmeekamui.net/index.php?
p=1_8_Human-Rights-Declaraon) (last accessed: September 24, 2012).
79. The MGU Proclamaon. Available at hp://governmentofmeekamui.net/index.php?
p=1_7_Proclamaon (last accessed: September 24, 2012).
80. The MGU Business Model. Available at hp://governmentofmeekamui.net/index.php?
p=1_10_Business-Model (last accessed: September 24, 2012).
81. Sarei v. Rio Tinto, PLC, No. 02-56256, 19323, 19368 (9th Cir. 2011).
82. Laukai, ‘Me’ekamui Invites Stakeholders’, New Dawn on Bougainville.
83. The MGU Natural Resources. Available at hp://governmentofmeekamui.net/index.php?
p=1_10_Business-Model (last accessed: September 24, 2012).
84. Gatana, ‘Panguna Landowners Speak out’, The Post-Courier.
85. Filed in 2008, Sarei v. Rio Tinto PLC has been through a number of courts in the US judicial system with
the US Federal Court for the Ninth Circuit ruling on it most recently (October, 2011) and remanding it
to the district court (for Central District of California) for “further proceedings on the claims of geno-
cide and war crimes”.
86. Kenneth, ‘Me’ekamui Insists on Proper Burial’, The Post-Courier..
MGU exists in a dicult environment of compeon for the wealth of the Panguna mine. It is
surrounded by other gangs and groups with whom it has sought to build alliances to varying
degrees of success. MGU’s alliance with the ABG has been rocky and rife with accusaons of
the ABG overstang its authority to negoate the reopening of the Panguna mine87;
strangely, however, this alliance has been the strongest MGU has had with any group. MGU’s
alliance with Uma’s gang88 is tentave and remains a work in progress. As Toroama seeks
greater control of Panguna (through being integral to the scrap metal project), the MGU
tolerates his gang’s presence at Panguna now that the scrap metal project is ongoing. MGU
does not share much more than its geography with the Panguna Landowners Associaon
(‘PLOA’), with the level of hoslity and mutual aversion between the two groups being
palpable.89 Shortly aer Ona’s death, the MGU publicly distanced itself from Ona’s close ally,
Noah Musingku, to then disown him enrely.90 There is no reason to believe that MGU
maintains alliances or has frequent communicaons with any other gangs in Bougainville.
Noah Musingku
Noah Musingku spent the Crisis years away from Bougainville and, as such, did not
parcipate in the hoslies in any capacity. During those years Musingku had a life that
diered dramacally from that shared by his fellow-Bougainvilleans locked in a protracted
civil war:91 Musingku acquired fabulous wealth92 through a pyramid investment scheme, U-
Vistract, he ran in Papua New Guinea and other countries of the region.94 In 2002, a
concerted eort of Papua New Guinea and Australia got Musingku on the run quickly
shrinking safe harbors for him to his nave and now lawless Bougainville. Auspiciously for
Musingku, his diverse Bougainville fan base included Ona95 who was in a posion to oer
Musingku a safe haven under the protecon of his Me’ekamui gang. Ona, at the me, was in
desperate search of nancial means to sustain his gang’s claim for government of
Bougainville. Musingku convinced Ona that he would be able to deliver the much needed
wherewithal. Ona had every reason to believe Musingku who had proven his ability to
generate large amounts of money by defrauding large numbers of people in short periods of
me. In 2004, from a guest of Ona’s gang Musingku was elevated to the status of a co-equal
monarch in Ona’s fantasy kingdom.96 Thus were born Ona’s kingdom of the Me’ekamui and
Musingku’s Kingdom of Papala. As no two kingdoms can exist under the same roof for long,
Musingku moved his ‘kingdom’ to his nave village of Tonu in the Siwai District of South
66
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
87. Laukai, .Me’ekamui Invites Stakeholders’, New Dawn on Bougainville.
88. Laukai, ‘Pipiro Happy’, New Dawn on Bougainville.
89. Laukai, ‘PLOA Responds to Me’ekamui’, New Dawn on Bougainville.
90. Leer of MGU Prime Minister Raymond Hakena,November 10, 2005.‘PNG Sends Police Reinforce-
ments’, New Zealand Radio, May 15, 2006.Leer of MGU President (June, 2006).
91. Post-Courier, ‘Me’ekamui Denies Links’.
92. Cox, ‘Financing the End-Time Harvest,’ 2.
93. Ibid.
94. Cox, ‘Financing the End-Time Harvest’
95. Ona regarded U-Vistract as “Bougainvillean-owned” and “Bougainvillean-operated” and “a way for
Bougainvilleans to economic prosperity”. A BRA delegaon visited the Australian embassy in Port
Moresby to inform the Australian government that “the closure of U-Vistract had ramicaons for the
Bougainville peace process and should therefore be halted” (Stan McKenzie, Papua New Guinea Fast
Money Schemes: a Financial House of Cards Collapses, World Socialist Website.
96. This is Musingku’s interpretaon of what happened. Ona’s interpretaon is quite dierent. Asked
about this connecon to Musingku Ona replied with “[n]o, my government is outside, outside Noah
Musingku’s system […] I have nothing to do with him, no. He is free there. He is doing his own things”
McLeod, ‘Bougainville – the Man Who Would Be King’.
Bougainville shortly aer the inauguraon. Following Ona’s death, Musingku declared himself
Ona’s sole successor.97
Once in Tonu, Musingku has set up a ‘kingdom’ with all the trappings of a South Pacic cargo
cult: an airport to/from which there are no ights, a bank which accepts deposits but does
not allow withdrawals, which issues checks that cannot be cashed and promises astronomical
dividends but never pays out, and a court of law which uses the Bible as the law. All this is
ghtly wrapped in messianic prophesy, lavish promises of imminent cornucopia of
tremendous wealth, and aempts to further isolate the people of Tonu from the rest of the
world by creang a new reality for them98 through which Musingku’s life is presented as part
of the Divine Plan.99 Given this mul-faceted approach to control, Musingku has gained a
reputaon of “smooth operator” with some.100
Musingku’s ‘kingdom’ maintains an army of 30-100 men (referred to as the Me’ekamui
Defense Force and the Me’ekamui Paramilitary Police),101 some of whom are armed with
automac weapons. This army is composed of unemployed and unskilled local men who have
been paid in promises of unearthly riches and very earthly and simple meals since Musingku’s
‘kingdom’ fell on tough mes.102 Musingku has nally recently admied that there is no
money in his ‘nancial system’ or ‘kingdom’ and that the wealth acquired by operang U-
Vistract has been frozen “in convenonal banks”.103 Musingku has acknowledged that most
Bougainvilleans no longer trust him and his ‘nancial system’.104 Now that Musingku is out of
the money he did manage to salvage from the asset-freeze, the sway of his authority over his
armed gang will be tested.
Musingku has mulple reasons to connue maintaining his armed gang. These reasons range
from criminal prosecuon to numerous angry U-Vistract ‘investors’ who want their money
back.105 Musingku is safe from these for as long as Bougainville remains lawless and he
manages to maintain the loyalty of his gang.
67
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
97. Papala Chronicles, July 16, 2011, at hp://papaala-chronicles.blogspot.com/search?updated-
min=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2012-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=2
98. Papala Chronicles, Speech at the Bougainville Kina Launching Ceremony’,July 8, 2009. Available at
hp://papaala-chronicles.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2009-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-
max=2010-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=5) (last accessed: March 1, 2012)
99. Papala Chronicles, Issue 4, April 23, 2005.
100. McLeod, ‘Bougainville – the Man Who Would Be King’.
101. Informants S1, S, 2, S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, S9, Arawa, BougainvilleNovember, 2009, personal interviews
Me’ekamui Denies Links with Musingku’, Post-Courier.
102. Papala Chronicles, Papala Day Speech,Apr 23, 2010.Available at hp://papaala-
chronicles.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2011-01-
01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=4) (last accessed: March 1, 2012. Informant S5, Arawa, Bougain-
villeDec, 2011, personal interview. Papala Chronicles, Papala Day Speech,Apr 23, 2010.Available at
hp://papaala-chronicles.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-
max=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=4) (last accessed: March 1, 2012)
103. Papala Chronicles, Apr 23, 2010 at hp://papaala-chronicles.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010
-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&updated-max=2011-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&max-
results=4
104. Papala Chronicles, Jul 16, 2011, at hp://papaala-chronicles.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2011-
01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2012-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=2 Papala Chronicles,
Issue 8, May 21, 2005
105. McLeod, ‘Bougainville – the Man Who Would Be King’, May 17, 2005. McKenzie, ‘Papua New Guinea
Fast Money Scheme’ World Socialist Website.
Musingku is originally from Tonu village which is 3 hours’ drive from the Panguna mine. He
has no plausible ancestral claim to the Panguna land under the tradional rules of land
tenure. Musingku is exceponally verbose and prolic as a writer but no evidence of his
menoning his claims to the Panguna mine has been found, and evidence to the contrary
exists.106 Had it not been for Ona’s death, Musingku could have developed a tenuous
connecon to the mine through him. Ona’s death caused fracturing of his gang led by men
who are openly hosle to him (MGU and Uma). With Musingku’s ‘kingdom’ lying away from
the mine, he does not control any area that will be vital to the mine’s operaon.107
As such, Musingku will not be integral to mine-reopening negoaons, nor is he likely to be a
threat to them so long as they do not, directly or indirectly, aect his security in his
‘kingdom’. That said, Musingku’s pyramid scheme is likely to be rejuvenated by Panguna
landowners ush with hey monthly royalty checks. In this event, the ABG will have to make
a choice whether to intervene to arrest Musingku or turn a blind eye to his operaon to
ensure that Musingku’s arrest does not become a cause of disrupon of the producon.108
Damien Koike
Damien Koike was one of the “men [who] were engaged in criminal acvity prior to the
beginning of the Crisis and the incepon of the BRA” prexed earlier in this paper. In fact, the
outbreak of the Crisis had the eect of breaking Koike out of jail. A free man again, Koike
moved back to his village in South Bougainville and joined the BRA there quickly rising to the
rank of company commander of BRA’s ‘I’ Company. Perhaps the biggest event in the history
of BRA in South Bougainville, the Kangu Beach Massacre, did not involve Koike’s troops. The
fame/infamy for this killing of some unarmed PNGDF regulars and capture of others belonged
to another BRA commander in South Bougainville, Thomas Tari. Koike grew to deeply resent
Tari for the spotlight and the ransom money109 he aained from the Kangu Beach Massacre.
Aer some inial irtaon with it, Koike rejected the peace process believing that the ming
for it was inauspicious110 and maintained his troop as the South Bougainville detachment of
Ona’s Me’ekamui Defense Force. Ona’s death and the disintegraon of his gang does not
appear to have had any visible eect on Koike whose gang was by then fully immersed in the
local power struggle in South Bougainville. Since the BPA days, Koike’s gang has been known
for banditry in South Bougainville and southern parts of Central Bougainville.
Koike now claims to have anywhere from 100 to 1,000 men111 under his command but the
real number appears to be somewhere in the vicinity of 30.112 What his gang lacks in number
68
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
106. Australian Broadcasng Corporaon (ABC) Foreign Correspondent’s report of 17 May 2005
107. Contra Australian Broadcasng Corporaon (ABC) Foreign Correspondent’s report of 17 May 2005
(video on le with author) claims that Musingku might have designs for the Mine because he
“controls the zone that surrounds the defunct but rich Panguna gold and copper mine”. The report
enrely misinterprets the power structure around Panguna and Musingku’s posion in it.
108. ABG’s previous president, James Tanis, aempted to deal with the Musingku issue by requesng that
the PNG government pardon Musingku. The request gained no tracon at the naonal level and
Tanis’ short-lived presidency was over before he could make any headway on the maer.
109. Informants S1, S2, Arawa, Bougainville, July – October, 2009, personal interview.
110. Informant S1, Arawa, Bougainville, October 2009, personal interview.
111. Laukai, ‘Ceasere in South Bougainville’, New Dawn on Bougainville.
112. Informants S1, S2, S3, S4, Arawa, Boungainville, July, October 2009 – February 2012, personal inter-
views. Jackson, Australian Broadcasng Corporaon, Bougainville Shoong, April 24 2011.
it makes up in ruthlessness, however.113 Throughout the 2000s almost all criminality in South
Bougainville was aributed to Koike’s gang.
Koike is originally from Telei village, Buin District, South Bougainville and presently lives in
Mogoroi village in Buin District that is 3 hours’ drive from the Panguna mine. This fact of his
birth and his family lineage does not create any entlement to the Panguna land for him
under the tradional rules of land tenure. Unlike the similarly situated Musingku, Koike has
shown an interest in mining. As such, Koike’s gang intermiently controlled the mining of
alluvial gold in the Deuro and Konnou constuencies of the Buin District which Koike’s band
road-blocked from the rest of the district in the good tradion of roadblocks in Bougainville.
The local landowners pushed back by organizing into an armed gang named the Wisia
Liberaon Front/Movement (‘WLF/WILMO’) led by Philip Pusua and retook the mining area
creang an armed stando with Koike.114
Aer years of armed conict and mulple deaths on both sides, Koike’s gang nally gained
the upper hand by killing Pusua115 and other WILMO leaders and ‘reconciling’ with what was
le of WILMO. This reconciliaon was ociated by the ABG President and UNDP and was de
facto Koike’s victory celebraon over WILMO. This demonstrates that Koike’s gang is
interested in Bougainville’s mineral wealth and is prepared to kill to get to it. Koike’s other
known proclivies are jealousy and desire to ‘get in on the acon’. The only ‘acon’ in
Bougainville now is the ABG’s budget. Koike has declared war on President Momis for “empty
promises”116 by launching a colorfully named operaon ‘Leader Out’ (essenally, threatening
to kill Momis if the ABG budget was not shared with him). Momis rushed to placate Koike by
oering him money under the guise of assistance with the compensaons Koike and his gang
were going to pay to the families of the WILMO members they had killed.117 It is not dicult
to foresee that if the Panguna mine becomes the main ‘acon’ in Bougainville, Koike will use
threats of violence (now that he knows that they work) to get ‘his’ slice of the pie if he feels
that his gang is “le out” by the distribuon of Panguna’s wealth. It is doubul that Koike has
an elaborate posion on reopening of the Panguna mine but what is known is that his
posion includes a requirement that “no white people” be allowed to do mining in
Bougainville.118
Koike’s gang operates in a manner that is lile dierent from the manner in which it operated
during the Crisis. Despite his gang being responsible for the bulk of killings in Bougainville
since 2006, Koike’s enemies are cabined to his immediate surroundings (the villages of
Mongai, Moikui and Sininnai). In the rest of South Bougainville, he has collaborated on a
number of occasions119 with Musingku (whom he considers “a nancial genius”120 and in
69
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
113. Informants S1, S2, S3, S4, Arawa, Buka, Bougainville, October 2009 – February 2012, personal inter-
views.
114. Informant S1 and Informant S4, Arawa, Buka, Bougainville October 2009 – January 2010, personal
interview.
115. Pacic Islands News Associaon, Movement Leader Shot Dead in Bougainville
116. ‘Rebel Wages War on ABG’, Post-Courier
117. Bougainville Wants Restorave Jusce’, Radio New Zealand Internaonal. Informants N2 and N3,
Buka, Bouganiville, February 2010, personal interview.
118. Informant S1, Arawa, Bougainville, October 2009, personal interview.
119. ‘Bougainville-Fiji Men Sign Deal’, Fiji Times.
120. Informant S1, Arawa, October 2009, personal interview.
whose system he has ‘invested’). Koike’s connecon with Uma dates back to days of Ona’s
gang but there is no reason to believe that Uma exercises any measure of control over Koike
or his gang.121 Koike’s connecon with Pipiro and Miriori is equally tenuous122 and seemingly
residual. There is no reason to believe that any connecon presently exists between Koike
and Toroama. While there has been no evidence of their collaboraon, Koike and Tari have
maintained the peace reached between them in 2009.
Thomas Tari
Thomas Tari became a household name in Bougainville in 1996 when he and his platoon
ploed and helped perpetrate the Kangu Beach Massacre. The PNGDF who were not killed in
the aack were captured. Their capture resulted in a protracted negoaon process which
made Tari an important man. The newfound notoriety made Tari aspire for company
commandership. Tari moved to kill the then BRA’s ‘H’ Company commander Paul Bobby
Kiaku123 (and his two brothers)124 and take over the ‘H’ Company.
Following the split in the BRA along the peace process lines, Tari joined the pro-peace process
BRA who were led by Toroama and parcipated in hammering out of key disarmament and
weapons disposal accords.125 Once the disarmament and weapons containment process got
underway Tari was put in charge of the disarmament of the BRA in Buin. When the weapons
containment process failed towards the end of 2005, Tari retrieved some of his company’s
weapons and rearmed. Absent a polical purpose and legimacy, the remnants of his
company disintegrated into a street gang.
Rearmed, Tari embarked, along with many in Bougainville, on a pursuit of what he felt was
owed to him and his gang for ghng the war. The methods Tari employed in this pursuit are
rounely framed as the oenses of ‘piracy’, ‘blackmail’ and ‘hijacking’126 in the most of the
rest of the world but are roune in the PNG tradional culture, even if criminalized by
‘introduced’ (Western) law.
Rearmed, Tari decided to append himself to the ABG in the form of an ABG-funded gang the
Bougainville Freedom Fighters (BFF) through which the ABG sought to restore the balance of
power127 skewed by the naiveté of the BPA draers128 and the failure of the disarmament and
weapons containment process.129 ABG used Tari’s BFF in operaons against the South
Bougainville Me’ekamui (Koike and Musingku) throughout 2006 and 2007 (at which point
70
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
121. Sam Kaouna, Kieta, Bougainville, May 2009, personal interview. Informant C2, Port Moresby, February
2012, personal interview. ‘ Rebel Wages War on ABG’, Post-Courier
122. Rebel Wages War on ABG’, Post-Courier
123. Informants S1, S, 2, S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, S9. Arawa, July 2009 - February 2010, personal interviews.
Maraki et al., ‘Long Peace Yumi Stanap’
124. Maraki, et al, ‘Long Peace Yumi Stanap’
125. Joint Bougainville Negoang Posion (December 14, 1999); The Rotakas Record, Joint Bougainville
Ex-Combatants Agreement on Weapons Disposal, Togarau (May 3, 2001)
126. E.g. In 2005, Tari and his gang hijacked Momis’ car to demand compensaon for an instance of
‘services’ allegedly provided to the PNG government during the war. This was not the rst me the
demand was made; Augusne Kinna, Talks on How to End Law and Order Issues Aecng South Bou-
gainville, The Naonal (November 7, 2006)
127. Informants S1, S 2, S7, S9, Arawa, July 2009 - February 2010, personal interviews.
128. Kopel, et al, ‘Firearms Possession by “Non-State Actors, 399’,
129. Radio New Zealand Internaonal, ‘Bougainville Ready to Arm’
ABG appears to have dropped the idea of dealing with Koike and Musingku through military
means). ABG then funded reconciliaons between Tari and the South Bougainville Me’ekamui
(Koike and Musingku) in 2009 and 2010.
Tari is from Laguai village of the Buin District in South Bougainville situated 3 hours’ drive
from the Panguna mine. As such, he has no entlement to the Panguna land under the
tradional rules of land tenure. Tari is not known to have laid a claim to Panguna but he may
or may not share Toroama’s ‘we all fought for it and it now belongs to all of Bougainville’
approach to the mine. What is clear is that Tari has not found his way back to the life of a
civilian and, as many combatants, does not see himself as anyone other than commander of
BRA ‘H’ Company.130 What is also clear is that he feels that something is owed to him for his
role in the Crisis and that that something has yet to be paid. It is unlikely that Tari will be
sased by ABG-brokered overseas junkets131 in lieu of what he believes is owed to him. The
reopening of the Panguna mine and the wealth it will create are likely to reignite Tari’s
pursuit of ‘compensaon’.
Tari’s relaonship with the Me’ekamui gangs (Koike and Musingku) in South Bougainville is
that of a status quo tenuously held up by reconciliaons and unl recently by the fact that
WILMO kept Koike at bay. This situaon might change very quickly now that Koike has
defeated WILMO. There is no evidence of Tari’s interacon with Toroama, Pipiro/Miriori or
Uma on a level of strategic alliances which might be of relevance to reopening of the mine.
Conclusion
The opening, operaon and closure of the Panguna Mine and the ensued civil war have
doubtless been by far the most impacul events in Bougainville’s 33,000 years of history. It
does not take a sage or a seer to predict that what happened between 1969 and 2001 will
connue being at the forefront of Bougainvilleans’ minds for many years to come. Contrary to
its name, the Bougainville Peace Agreement of 2001 did not bring peace to Bougainville. It
brought a disarmament and weapons containment process which failed by 2006, a weak
autonomous government which has been on life support since its creaon in 2005, and the
entrenchment of the residue of civil war combatants in the form of street gangs that connue
to control half the island.132
With, perhaps, the excepon of Buka town, Bougainville has frozen in me. It is no longer in
1969 or 2001, or anywhere in between. Nor is it in 2012. The disarmament and weapons
containment process failed in 2005 and the ABG was created the same year; there has been
no signicant change since. Rephrasing the words of an American playwright, in Bougainville,
there is no present or future, it is year 2006 happening over and over again, now.133 The
existence of the gangs is a constant reminder to all Bougainvilleans and outsiders that, in the
words of Uma, “we have a ght here and it is not over”. Gang leaders like Uma have spent
their enre adult lives looking at the world through the barrel of the gun. They have had
numerous opportunies to go back to civilian life but they have consciously ignored them
71
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
130. Kinna, ‘Ex-BRA Commander Reconciles,’ The Naonal, December 21 2007
131. Laukai, ‘Tari Teses
132. Tohui, ‘Momis to Honor Old Agreements’, The Naonal, October 21 2011.
133. O’Neill, ‘A Moon for the Misbegoen’
realizing that, in Bougainville, being a man with a gun bestows the status of power and
money whereas the life of a civilian oen gives neither.
Only a small poron of the gang members relate to the Panguna land under the tradional
rules of land tenure in Bougainville. This, however, does not mean that Toroama’s “now that
a war has been fought over it the Panguna mine belongs to all Bougainvilleans” will not strike
a chord with those who are dispossessed of the mine by the tradional rules of land tenure.
Only me will show with how many of the gang members this will resonate and how many
will be willing to step aside out of respect for the tradional rules of land tenure.
A sizable poron of the gangs exercises varying measures of control over the Panguna mine.
While there is some potenal for events in the area to recalibrate these measures, it is
unlikely that this recalibraon will be of signicant nature.
The gangs’ views on reopening of the Panguna mine are diverse, oen inconsistent within the
same gang, and oen oscillang over fairly short spans of me. There has been one constant
in these views; that constant is self-interest.134 Despite what the gangs might say in public,
self-interest is the best litmus test to gauge the truthfulness of these statements. Reconciling
these views is not as easy a task as they range from Ona’s two decades old claim for 10 billion
kinas to various other forms of compensaon to Mungta’s admonion that reopening of the
Panguna mine would be a disaster for Bougainville.135 Reconciliaon of these views, if at all
possible, may not be of lasng nature136 and may have the eect of rupture on the
producon of the reopened mine.
It has been argued that indigenous cultures are a hindrance to development.137 Whether this
claim passes the test of me or not, is not relevant to the Bougainville gangs’ views on the
Panguna mine for a very simple reason: by ‘development’ the gangs mean that someone will
come and do all the work and they will get paid simply for being there. Unl condions exist
for that someone to come in and do all the work, the gangs will keep themselves and the
people of Bougainville under permafrost and year 2006 will keep happening on Bougainville,
year aer year and again and again, now.
72
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
134. Braithwaite, et al, ‘Pillars and Shadows’ 35 .
135. Mungta, ‘A Total Disaster for the Future Bougainville Generaon’
136. Banks, ‘Understanding ‘Resource’ Conicts in Papua New Guinea’, 26
137. Macdonald, ‘“Good” governance in Pacic island states’
Bibliography
“ABG Walking Tightrope”, Post-Courier, 27 May 2011.
“Bougainville Ready to Arm Ex-Combatants if Needed for Security as Elecon Approaches”,
Radio New Zealand Internaonal, 24 March 2005.
“Bougainville Wants Restorave Jusce Approach to Seling Violence in the South”, Radio
New Zealand Internaonal, 26 August 2011.
“Bougainville-Fiji Men Sign Deal to Train Soldiers”, Fiji Times, 25 January 2006.
“Conict in Bougainville: Successes of the Bougainville Revoluonary Army; Interview with
Sam Kauona Sirivi,” NZine, 16 June 2000.
“Foreign Correspondent Report”, Australian Broadcasng Corporaon, 17 May 2005.
“Joint Bougainville Negoang Posion”, 14 December 1999.
“Me’ekamui Denies Links with Musingku,” Post-Courier, 15 June 2006.
“Me’ekamui Government of Unity Business Model”, (n.d.) hp://
governmentofmeekamui.net/index.php?p=1_10_Business-Model (last accessed: 24
September 2012)
“Me’ekamui Government of Unity Natural Resources Policy”, (n.d.)
hp://governmentofmeekamui.net/index.php?p=1_10_Business-Model (last accessed: 24
September 2012).
“Me’ekamui Government of Unity Proclamaon”, (n.d.)
hp://governmentofmeekaumui.net/index.php?p=1_10_Business-Model (last accessed: 24
September 2012).
Movement Leader Shot Dead in Bougainville”, Pacic Islands News Associaon, 18 August
2011.
“Rebel Leader Wants to Talk about Reopening Bougainville Copper Mine”, Radio Australia,
10 August 2011,
hp://www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacbeat/stories/201108/s3290464.htm (last accessed: 14
February 2012).
“Rebel Wages War on ABG”, Post-Courier, 9 May 2011.
“Rotakas Record, Joint Bougainville Ex-Combatants Agreement on Weapons Disposal”,
Togarau, 3 May 2001.
Banks, Glenn, “Understanding ‘Resource’ Conicts in Papua New Guinea”, Asia Pacic View
Point, Vol. 49 (1), 2008.
Boege, Volker, “Peacebuilding and State Formaon in Post-Conict Bougainville”, A Journal of
Social Jusce, Vol. 21, 2008.
Bes, Edwina, Bougainville AusAid Representave, Bougainville, January, 2010, personal
interview.
Braithwaite, John and Nickson, Ray, “Timing Truth, Reconciliaon, and Jusce Aer War”,
Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resoluon, Vol. 27, 2012.
Braithwaite, John, et al, Peacebuilding Compared Working Paper 6: Bougainville, The
Australian Naonal University, “Peacekeeping Compared” Series, 2009.
Braithwaite, John, et al, Pillars and Shadows: Statebuilding as Peacebuilding in Solomon
Islands, Australian Naonal University E Press, 2006.
Callick, Rowan, Polics: Countdown Begins for Panguna Mine Reopening: Bougainvilleans Key
to Mine’s Success, Island Business Internaonal, 2007.
Coleman, Paul, BCL General Manager, Personal Email, 9 March 2012
Connell, John, “The Future of an Island Microstate”, Journal of Pacic Studies, 2005.
73
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
Cox, John, “Financing the End-Time Harvest: Pyramid Schemes and Prosperity Gospels in
Papua New Guinea”, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia, Discussion Paper,
Australian Naonal University, Research School of Pacic and Asian Studies, 2009.
Filer, Colin, “The Bougainville Rebellion, the Mining Industry and the Process of Social
Disintegraon in Bougainville”, Canberra Anthropology, 1990.
Gatana Fabian, “Panguna Landowners Speak Out”, The Post-Courier, 30 March 2010
Gewertz, Deborah B., and Errington, Frederick K., Emerging Class in Papua New Guinea: the
Telling of Dierence, Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Gridne, Ilya, “Bougainville Landowners Call for Mining”, Australian Associated Press, 12
December 2008.
Grin, James, “Bougainville is a Special Case”, May, James and Spriggs, Mahew (eds.), The
Bougainville Crisis, Crawford House Press, 2007.
Hawsley, Charles, “Papua New Guinea at Thirty: Late Decolonizaon and the Polical
Economy of Naon Building”, Third World Quarterly, Vol. 27 (1), 2006.
Hilson, Christopher J., “Mining and Civil Conict: Revising Grievance at Bougainville”,
Minerals and Energy, Vol. 2, 2006.
Informant C1 and C3, Arawa, Bougainville, October 2009, personal interviews.
Informant C2, Port Moresby, January-March 2012, personal interview.
Informants N1, N2 and N3, Buka, Bougainville, February 2010, personal interview.
Informants S1, S, 2, S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, S9. Arawa, July, 2009-February 2010, personal
interviews.
Informants S1, S2, S3, S4, Arawa, Buka, Bougainville October, 2009-February 2012, personal
interviews.
Islam, Raqul, “Secession Crisis in Papua New Guinea: the Proclaimed Republic of
Bougainville in internaonal Law”, University of Hawaii Law Review, 1991.
Iten, Oswald,Peace Treaty for Bougainville: First Step Toward Independence from Papua
New Guinea?”, 2001.
Jackson, Elizabeth, “Bougainville Shoong”, Australian Broadcasng Corporaon, 24 April
2011.
Kenneth, Gorethy, “Me’ekamui General Stands Ground”, Post-Courier, 17 May 2010.
Kenneth, Gorethy, “Me’ekamui Insists on Proper Burial”, The Post-Courier, 29 March 2011.
Kenneth, Gorethy,Bougainville Rebel Warns Against Reopening Mine”, Post-Courier, 28
February 2011.
Kent, Stuart and Barne, John, “The Bougainville Polical Selement and the Prospects for
Sustainable Peace”, Polical Geography, Vol. 31, 2012.
Kinna, Augusne, “Ex-BRA Commander Reconciles”, The Naonal, 21 December 2007.
Kinna, Augusne, “Talks on How to End Law and Order Issues Aecng South Bougainville”,
The Naonal, 7 November 2006.
Kopel, David B., et al, “Firearms Possession by “Non-State Actors”: The Queson of
Sovereignty”, Texas Review of Law and Polics, Vol. 8, 2004.
Laukai, Aloysius, “Ceasere in South Bougainville”, New Dawn on Bougainville, 3 December
2011.
Laukai, Aloysius, “Tari Teses”, New Dawn on Bougainville, 1 November 2010.
Laukai, Aloysius,”Elecons Results Update”, New Dawn on Bougainville, 26 May 2010.
Laukai, Aloysius, “Final Count”, New Dawn on Bougainville 30 July 2012.
74
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
Laukai, Aloysius,Me’ekamui Invites Stakeholders to Panguna Mine Talks”, New Dawn on
Bougainville, 29 May 2011.
Laukai, Aloysius, “Pipiro Happy”, New Dawn on Bougainville, 20 April 2011.
Laukai, Aloysius,PLOA Responds to Me’ekamui”, New Dawn on Bougainville, 1 June 2011.
Macdonald, Barrie, “Good” governance in Pacic island states”, Larmour, Peter (ed.),
Governance in Reform in the South Pacic, 1998.
Maraki, Pakoa, et al, “Long Peace Yumi Stanap”, Adams, Rebecca (ed.), Peace on Bougainville:
Truce Monitoring Group: Gudpela Nius Bilong Peace, 2002.
Marshall, Steve, “A Killer Deal”, Australian Broadcasng Corporaon, 17 June 2008.
McKenzie, Stan, “Papua New Guinea Fast Money Schemes: a Financial House of Cards
Collapses”, World Socialist Website, 6 July 2000, hp://www.wsws.org/en/
arcles/2000/07/png-j06.html (last accessed: 5 May 2013).
McLeod, Shane, “Bougainville – the Man Who Would Be King”, Foreign Correspondent, 17
May 2005.
“Me’ekamui Denies Links with Musingku”, Post-Courier, 15 June 2006.
Memorandum of Understanding between the Me’ekamui Government of Unity, the People of
Ioro, and the Autonomous Bougainville Government, the Panguna Communiqué,
2007.
Mungta, William, “A Total Disaster for the Future Bougainville Generaon”, April 2011.
Musingku. Noah, “Papala Day Speech”, Papala Chronicles, 23 April 2010, hp://papaala-
chronicles.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00:00:00-
08:00&updated-max=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=4), (last accessed: 3
October 2012).
Musingku. Noah, “Speech at the Bougainville Kina Launching Ceremony”, Papala Chronicles,
July 8 2009, hp://papaala-chronicles.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2009-01-
01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2010-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=5) (last
accessed: 1 March 2012).
Musingku. Noah, Papala Chronicles, 16 July 2011, hp://papaala-chronicles.blogspot.com/
search?updated-min=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2012-01-
01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=2 (last accessed: 3 October 2012).
Musingku. Noah, Papala Chronicles, 16 July 2011, hp://papaala-chronicles.blogspot.com/
search?updated-min=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2012-01-
01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=2 (last accessed: 3 October 2012).
Musingku. Noah, Papala Chronicles, 23 April 2010, hp://papaala-chronicles.blogspot.com/
search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&updated-max=2011-
01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=4 (last accessed: 3 October 2012).
Newell, Virginia and Sheehy, Benedict, “Corporate Militaries and States: Actors, Interacons,
and Reacons”, Texas Internaonal Law Journal, Vol. 41, 2006.
O’Neill, Eugene, A Moon for the Misbegoen, New York: Random House, 1947.
“PNG Sends Police Reinforcements to Bougainville Following Clashes”, New Zealand Radio, 15
May 2006.
Regan, Anthony J., “Current Development in the Pacic: Causes and Course of the
Bougainville Conict,” Journal of Pacic History, Vol. 3 (3), 1998.
Regan, Anthony J., “The Bougainville Polical Selement and the Prospects for Sustainable
Peace”, Pacic Economic Bullen, Vol. 17, 2002.
Sam Kauona, Kieta, Arawa, Bougainville, April 2009, personal interview.
75
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
Sarei v. Rio Tinto, PLC, No. 02-56256, 19323, 19368 (9th Cir. 2011).
Schimmel, Jorg, Program Specialist for Prevenon and Recovery of the UNDP PNG Country
Oce, Port Moresby, February 2012, personal interview.
Spark, Natascha and Bailey, Jackie, “Disarmament in Bougainville”: ‘Guns in Boxes’’,
Internaonal Peacekeeping, Vol. 12 (4), 2006.
Strathern, Andrew J., and Stewart, Pamela J., “The Problems of Peace-Makers in Papua New
Guinea: Modalies of Negoaon and Polics”, Cornell Internaonal Law Journal,
Vol. 30, 1997.
Tanis, James, “Reconciliaon: My Side of the Island”, Weaving Consensus: the Papua New
Guinea-Bougainville Peace Process, 2002.
The Me’ekamui Government of Unity Human Rights Declaraon, (n.d.) hp://
governmentofmeekamui.net/index.php?p=1_8_Human-Rights-Declaraon) (last
accessed: 24 September 2012).
Thomson, Brian, Blood and Treasure, Special Broadcasng Service Australia, 26 June 2011.
Tohui, Joyce, “Momis to Honor Old Agreements”, The Naonal, 21 October 2011.
Toroama, “Leer to Ona”, 11 March 2003.
Tseraha, Peterson,Me’ekamui and ABG Do Deal to Work Together”, Post-Courier, 19 March
2010.
Volker Boege, “How to Maintain Peace and Security in Post-Conict High Polical Order – the
Case of Bougainville”, Journal of Internaonal Peacekeeping, Vol. 14, 2010.
White, Heather G., “Including Local Communies in the Negoaon of Mining Agreements:
the OK Tedi Example”, Transnaonal Lawyer, Vol. 8, 1995.
76
The Gangs of Bougainville: Seven Men, Guns and a Copper Mine
Journal of Conflict
Transformation & Security
www.cesran.org
Editor-in-Chief:
Ozgur TUFEKCI CESRAN International, UK
Executive Editor:
Husrev TABAK CESRAN International, UK
Managing Editor:
Birgit BRAUER, Dr. CESRAN International, UK
Annett RICHTER CESRAN International, UK
Book Review Editor:
Kadri Kaan RENDA, Dr. CESRAN International, UK
Assistant Editor:
Sasa CVRLJAK CESRAN International, UK
Associate Editors:
Can ERBIL, Assoc. Prof. Boston College, USA
Bayram GUNGOR, Prof. Karadeniz Technical University, Turkey
Hakan YILMAZKUDAY, Assist. Prof. Florida International University, USA
I S S N : 2 0 4 1 - 1944
Editorial Board:
Sener AKTURK, Dr. Harvard University, USA
William BAIN, Dr. Aberystwyth University, UK
Alexander BELLAMY, Prof. Uni. of Queensland, Australia
Richard BELLAMY, Prof. University College London, UK
Andreas BIELER, Prof. University of Nottingham, UK
Pınar BILGIN, Assoc. Prof. Bilkent University, Turkey
Ken BOOTH, Prof. Aberystwyth University, UK
Stephen CHAN, Prof. SOAS, University of London, UK
Nazli CHOUCRI, Prof. MIT, USA
John M. DUNN, Prof. University of Cambridge, UK
Kevin DUNN, Prof. Hobart and William Smith Colleges, USA
Mine EDER, Prof. Bogazici University, Turkey
Ertan EFEGIL, Assoc. Prof. Sakarya University, Turkey
Ayla GOL, Dr. Aberystwyth University, UK
Stefano GUZZINI, Prof. Uppsala Universitet, Sweden
Elif I. HAFALIR, Assist. Prof. Carnegie Mellon University, USA
David HELD, Prof. London School of Economics, LSE, UK
Raymond HINNEBUSCH, Prof. University of St Andrews, UK
Naim KAPUCU, Assoc. Prof. University of Central Florida, USA
Fahri KARAKAYA, Prof. Uni. of Massachusetts Dartmouth, USA
Abdulhamit KIRMIZI, Dr. SOAS, University of London, UK
Cécile LABORDE, Prof. University College London, UK
Ziya ONIS, Prof. Koc University, Turkey
Alp OZERDEM, Prof. Coventry University, UK
Oliver RICHMOND, Prof. University of St Andrews, UK
Ian TAYLOR, Prof. University of St Andrews, UK
Murat TUMAY, Dr. Selcuk University, Turkey
Talat ULUSSEVER, Assist. Prof. King Fahd Uni., S. Arabia
Ali WATSON, Prof. University of St Andrews, UK
Stefan WOLFF, Prof. University of Birmingham, UK
International Advisory Board:
Yasemin AKBABA, Assist. Prof. Gettysburg College, USA
Mustafa AYDIN, Prof. Kadir Has University, Turkey
Ian BACHE, Prof. University of Sheeld, UK
Mark BASSIN, Prof. University of Birmingham, UK
Mehmet DEMIRBAG, Prof. University of Sheeld, UK
Stephen Van EVERA, Prof. MIT, USA
John GLASSFORD, Assoc. Prof. Angelo State University, USA
Bulent GOKAY, Prof. Keele University, UK
Burak GURBUZ, Assoc. Prof. Galatasaray University, Turkey
Tony HERON, Dr. University of Sheeld, UK
John M. HOBSON, Prof. University of Sheeld, UK
Jamal HUSEIN, Assist. Prof. Angelo State University, USA
Murat S. KARA, Assoc. Prof. Angelo State University, USA
Michael KENNY, Prof. University of Sheeld, UK
Gamze G. KONA, Dr. Foreign Policy Analyst, Turkey
Scott LUCAS, Prof. University of Birmingham, UK
Christoph MEYER, Dr. King’s College London, UK
Kalypso NICOLAIDIS, Prof. University of Oxford, UK
Bill PARK, Mr. King’s College London, UK
Jenik RADON, Prof. Columbia University, USA
Ibrahim SIRKECI, Prof. Regent’s College London, UK
Claire THOMAS, Dr. University of Sheeld, UK
Brian WHITE, Prof. University of Sheeld, UK
M. Hakan YAVUZ, Assoc. Prof. University of Utah, USA
Birol YESILADA, Prof. Portland State University, USA
Interdisciplinary
Muldisciplinary
Peer-reviewed
Academic Journal
by CESRAN
(Centre for Strategic Research and Anal-
ysis)
www.cesran.org/jga
I S S N : 2 0 4 1 - 1944
I S S N : 2 0 4 1 - 1944
Academic Index
Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE)
Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO)
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
EBSCO Publishing Inc.
EconLit
EconPapers
IDEAS
Index Copernicus
Index Islamicus
Infomine
International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Schorlarly Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences (IBR)
International Bibliography of Periodical Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences (IBZ)
International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS)
International Relations and Security Network (ISN)
Lancaster Index to Defence & International Security Literature
Peace Palace Library
Research Papers in Economics (RePEc)
Social Sciences Information Space (SOCIONET)
Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory
Abstracting/Indexing
Interdisciplinary | Multidisciplinary | Peer-reviewed | Academic Journal
by CESRAN
(Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis)
www.cesran.org/jga
Article
Full-text available
Analyse des causes politiques et sociales du mouvement de rebellion des proprietaires fonciers de Bougainville, archipel des Salomon, qui debuta en 1988 contre les activites minieres installees dans l'ile par l'administration coloniale australienne
Article
In September 2005 Papua New Guinea (PNG) celebrated 30 years of independence from Australia. Despite greater Australian control over foreign aid spending in its former colony since the late 1980s, the Australian government still fears ‘state collapse’ in PNG. Framing its concerns in such a fashion assumes that there was a time when the state in PNG ‘worked’ in the same way as developed states. Australia practised paternalistic colonial policies before 1975, and independence was thrust upon PNG rather than achieved as the result of the efforts of an organised nationalist movement. Nation-building in PNG has been problematic from the outset, with a linguistically diverse population and no significant nationalist sentiment or structures on which to build. In the past decade neoliberal economic policies promoted by Australian policy makers and international lending agencies have tried to force the government and economy to be more efficient. Slowing growth, increased unemployment, rising crime rates and the apparent inability of the PNG state to reverse these trends led Canberra to force the PNG government to accept an ‘Enhanced Cooperation Program’ (ecp) to shore up the PNG state and reverse its predicted demise. The ecp raises questions over the success of nation- and state-building in PNG, as well as the degree of actual sovereignty enjoyed today by PNG.
Article
After a decade-long large-scale violent conflict, the Pacific island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea has gone through another decade of post-conflict peacebuilding and at present is confronted with the task of state formation. Peacebuilding has been a success story so far, and the prospects of state formation look promising. The maintenance of order, security and justice in post-conflict Bougainville is based on legal pluralism, with strong customary law and strong customary non-state policing. The violent conflict on Bougainville was a hybrid social-political exchange, with the causes and motivating factors stemming from both the sphere of state-centred politics ('war of secession') and the local societal realm in which non-state customary issues (land conflicts, pay back etc.) played a major role. This article explores the specific features of post-conflict peacebuilding on Bougainville that flow from this context, focussing on the local capacities, but also acknowledging the contribution of international peacekeeping, particularly through the United Nations and a regional Peace Monitoring Group. Based on the Bougainville experience, the article develops a critique of the conventional Western peacebuilding-as-statebuilding approach to fragile post-conflict situations, and it critiques the accompanying focus of external actors on capacity-building of state institutions for maintaining order and internal peace. It makes a case for an alternative approach which acknowledges the hybridity of political order and the co-existence and interplay of state and non-state providers of security and justice. Positive mutual accommodation of state and non-state customary institutions are presented as a more promising way to sustainable internal peace and order than the attempted imposition of the Western Weberian model of the state.