[61] Negotiations between PNG and Bougainville about the road forward will now begin and could continue for years, and the PNG Parliament will have the final say. The referendum is an important step in the peace process between groups on Bougainville and Papua New Guinea, following the bloody Bougainville Civil War. Over the years of fighting, different armed factions emerged, including the Bougainville Revolutionary Army and the Bougainville Resistance Forces. Serahphina Aupong/United Nations in Papua New Guinea, via Associated Press. Bougainville remains part of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and has four elected representatives in the PNG national parliament. “It puts the P.N.G. Bougainville Revolutionary Army leader Francis Ona, barefoot and wearing a bush hat, in 1994 during the decade-long civil war in the archipelago. Ever wondered why we call today Boxing Day? The autonomous region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is entering a new phase in its quest for peace, almost 20 years after a peace agreement ended a 10-year civil war. He set up the Bougainville Interim Government (BIG), but it had little power, and the island began to descend into disarray. About 85 per cent of eligible voters cast more than 181,000 ballots in two weeks of voting. PNG and Bougainville are now expected to hold negotiations and present an option for the PNG Parliament to vote on. That will be our firm position". Special arrangements were made to allow upes — boys and young men undertaking their coming of age initiations — to vote in Bougainville's historic referendum. An anti-war movement evolved on Bougainville during the mid-1990s, spearheaded by womens’ groups, NGOs, and the church. "We don't want to set a precedent for the other 21 provinces. government has squandered its opportunity,” said Wesley Morgan, a fellow at Griffith University’s Asia Institute in Queensland, Australia. The population of the province is approximately 300,000 (2019 census), which includes islets such as the Carterets. In a referendum linked to a peace agreement that ended a civil war between separatists and Papua New Guinea security forces nearly 20 years ago, nearly 98 percent of … The mine br… The autonomous Papua New Guinea region's non-binding referendum is the ultimate provision of 2001's Peace Agreement which formally ended hostilities in Bougainville's civil war. NSW recorded nine COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, including eight linked to the Avalon cluster, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says Greater Sydney will now revert to pre-Christmas restrictions, She also announced minor changes to pre-Christmas restrictions in the northern beaches. The mine began production in 1972 under the management of Bougainville Copper Ltd, with Papua New Guinea as a 20% shareholder. The referendum was a result of a 2001 agreement between the government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government that ended a civil war fought from 1988 to 1998. The results were met with celebration in Bougainville, where the results were announced in the city of Buka. Out of a population of 160,000, as many as 10,000 died as a result of the blockade, or were shot—three times the number killed during the troubles in Northern Ireland. The Bougainville Civil War, also known as the Bougainville Conflict, was an armed conflict fought from 1988 to 1998 between Papua New Guinea and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), who were fighting for independence. The conflict was described by Bougainvillean President John Momis as the largest conflict in Oceania since the end of World War IIin 1945, with an estimated 15,000–20,000 Bougai… A ten-year civil war was the result. Tensions continued, and the subsequent Bougainville Civil War (1988–1998) resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, as the Bougainville Revolutionary Army sought to secure independence and was resisted by the Papua New Guinea Defence Force. The vote is non-binding and the government of Papua New Guinea has the final say on what becomes of Bougainville. She never expected to be in a similar situation, Queen Elizabeth II calls for 'spirit of selflessness' in Christmas message, This is what we know about the next steps in Malka Leifer's extradition, The rare allergy that turned me into a vegetarian, New South Wales issues COVID-19 alert for flight passengers and multiple Sydney bus routes, 'Disgraceful': UK's Channel 4 criticised for airing deepfake of Queen's Christmas message, 'Ugly place to be': Greg Norman spends Christmas Day in hospital with COVID-19, Two men charged with aggravated robbery in Adelaide during early hours of Boxing Day, Teen killed in Christmas crash, but police say motorbike removed from scene before they arrived. Bougainville Civil War also known as Bougainville Conflict was a conflict that was fought from 1988 to 1998 in which autonomous region of Papua New Guineaball, Bougainvilleball on a failed attempt to be an independent country. Its economic grievances led the region to declare independence, or try to, in 1975. Decades after the region's bloody civil conflict, the people of Bougainville will today start casting their votes in a referendum on whether they should seek independence from Papua New Guinea. To ensure everyone enrolled had a chance to vote, referendum officials visited people in hospitals and police cells. This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced. Parliament, then I imagine China would be very quick to offer its support in many ways, with aid, trade and investment,” said Mr. Pryke. The scheduled two weeks of voting ended earlier than expected, with many Bougainvilleans casting their vote just days after polling stations opened. CANBERRA, Australia, Sep 29 2020 (IPS) - Ishmael Toroama, a former revolutionary leader and fighter during the decade long civil war which engulfed the remote islands of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the 1990s, has been elected the autonomous region’s new President ahead of high-level talks about its political future. What and where is Bougainville? Many felt mining profits were not being shared fairly between PNG and Bougainville — or even between different landowner groups at the mine site — while pollution from the Panguna operation also created tension. At the time, Bougainville’s Panguna mine provided nearly half the entire country’s export income through gold and copper mining. A peace agreement resulted in the creation of the Autonomous Bougainville Government. Out of 181,067 ballots, 176,928 votes were cast for independence. At the time, the Panguna open cut mine was the largest in the world. That war saw the secessionist Bougainville Revolutionary Army … #Bougainville. Fighting between the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) and PNG government forces developed into a full-blown civil war, which saw an estimated 20,000 … The general election was the first since Bougainville voted overwhelmingly for ... of little economic progress after a decade-long civil war that claimed as many as 20,000 lives. The young men have to spend an extended period in isolation in the bush, where they learn traditional practices and are forbidden to be seen by women. We had many of the key players come and stay with us in Brisbane," she told the ABC's Pacific Beat program earlier this month. Photograph: … But Papua New Guinea ignored that push, and over the ensuing decades, tensions simmered and then exploded. Voting was also made available to Bougainvilleans working on mine sites around PNG and those working in Australia and Solomon Islands. Up to 20,000 people, or about 10 per cent of Bougainville's population, died during the Bougainville Civil War, fought from 1988 to 1998. The command structure set up by the BRA seldom had any real control over the various groups throughout the island that claimed to be part of the BRA. With such a resounding vote for self-determination, Bougainville has become a visible inspiration for other independence movements in the Pacific, from West Papua, which is seeking to secede from Indonesia, to New Caledonia, which will hold a referendum next year about possibly breaking away from France. "My husband was involved in the peace arrangements and the conflict resolution. The islands have struggled against Papua New Guinea’s rule since the 1970s. Bougainville Island (Tok Pisin: Bogenvil) is the main island of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville of Papua New Guinea.It formed the main landmass of the German Empire-associated North Solomons.Its land measures 9,300 km 2 (3,600 sq mi). The referendum also responds to more historical ambitions by many Bougainvilleans to be independent. The historic referendum was carried out over a two-week period, with people asked if they wanted independence or greater autonomy from Papua New Guinea. The nearly unanimous results exceeded what regional analysts had expected and could accelerate the independence movement, complicating diplomatic relations across the region. "We've lost people that have worked so hard. Members of the Bougainville Women's Federation cheering Wednesday after hearing that voters in a referendum overwhelmingly supported independence from Papua New Guinea. That is like a quarter of a million New Zealanders dying in a civil war that lasted almost twice as long as World War Two. The deputy speaker of Bougainville's Parliament, Francesca Semoso, said she was emotional when she cast her vote last month. The discovery of vast copper ore deposits in Bougainville's Crown Prince Range in 1969 led to the establishment of a huge copper mine by the Australian company Conzinc Rio Tinto. This long-awaited referendum was at the heart of the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement, which marked the official end to a bloody civil war that lasted from 1988 to 1997. It is the culmination of decades of work towards peace and reconciliation. Assisted by moderate leaders on all sides, Bougainville’s burgeoning civil society was able to slowly develop a framework for peace. Up to 20,000 people, or about 10 per cent of Bougainville's population, died during the Bougainville Civil War, fought from 1988 to 1998. "I was a little girl as this was being talked about. That process could take several years, and PNG's Minister for Bougainville, Sir Puka Temu, said his Government was firm in its desire to hold on to the island. Observers have said that the clear result makes it difficult for Papua New Guinea to … Polling for Bougainville's independence referendum gets underway today. Follow our live coverage from day one of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, By PNG correspondent Natalie Whiting in Bougainville and Pacific Beat staff. That special status was granted to the islands during negotiations that followed a bloody, decade-long civil war. “If the process plays out to a point where Bougainville is ceded its independence by the P.N.G. The Bougainville Civil War is considered the largest conflict to have occurred in Oceania since World War Two. "It's been a long time coming," she told the ABC. Up to 20,000 people, or 10% of the population at the time, lost their lives. “Now with such a phenomenal majority, it’s much harder for them to do that,” he added. The Bougainville Peace Agreement The Bougainville Peace Agreement granted the region more autonomy, and those who opposed secession hoped the pact’s lengthy timeline — allowing for a nonbinding referendum on independence within 20 years — would also prompt Papua New Guinea’s government to develop an equitable revenue-sharing deal for the mine, along with other services that might build loyalty to the central government. The civil war that subsequently broke out between the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, Papua New Guinean forces and other pro-PNG militias in Bougainville saw the mine shut down in 1989. Bougainville has voted overwhelmingly to seek independence from Papua New Guinea, with more than 97 per cent in favour of autonomy. "To see them back in their own village, to meet them and be part of what they see as the next step in their future was incredibly special.". “The P.N.G. government could have found a way to justify really stretching this out and having a period of negotiation that could last years or decades. government in a pretty hard position,” said Jonathan Pryke, director of the Pacific Islands program at the Lowy Institute in Sydney. Violence shut down the mine in 1989 and a nine-year war claimed the lives of 20,000 people. But little tax revenue seemed to make it back to Bougainville. The war has been described as the largest conflict in Oceania since the end of World War II, with an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 Bougainvillean dead. Excited voters gathered in Buka to hear the results — and they cheered when the sheer scale of the victory became apparent. Lockdown inspires mum's once-in-a-lifetime road trip, Aida's mum fled war to Australia. AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), Live: 'Absolutely appalling' gathering on Bronte Beach lashed by NSW Health Minister, NSW records nine new local COVID-19 cases, northern beaches restrictions to revert to pre-Christmas levels, Australians tipped to spend record amount in Boxing Day sales despite lack of crowds, Live: Australia rocking early on Boxing Day as Steve Smith goes for a duck, Man, 53, dead after being stabbed at Christmas family gathering in Ipswich, Nashville hit by 'intentional' explosion on Christmas morning, When Matt came to Australia to live the 'van life', things didn't go to plan, Napoleon scholar sentenced to 12 years' jail after being found dumping body of dismembered Russian student in river, Glass everywhere as ute smashes through bank doors in heart of Perth's CBD, brought an end to a bloody civil war in the region, the PNG Parliament will have the final say, Who shot Theodore Miriung? It provided over 45% of Papua New Guinea's national export revenue and was incredibly important to the economy. The brutal murder mystery haunting the island of Bougainville, Bougainville may become the world's newest nation — here's what you need to know, 'A lot of hatred, a lot of pain': Bougainville survivors find hope with historic referendum. The nearly unanimous results in the Pacific islands chain exceeded expectations and could both accelerate independence and complicate relations across the region. Bougainville Referendum Commission chair Bertie Ahern said on Tuesday the vote was conducted "in an environment that was conducive to a free, fair and credible process". The results are astonishing: 98.3 percent voted for independence (1.7 percent voted for more autonomy). A large proportion of the population was displaced and up to 20,000 people died as a result of the conflict. "For me personally, it's my father who's always been a strong supporter of peace … and supporter of making sure everyone in the community were able to have a voice.". Conflict over the Panguna mine became the primary trigger for the Bougainville Civil War (1988–1998), which resulted in the deaths of up to 20,000 people. Now, Bougainville has the potential to become the world’s newest nation, defining its own destiny and opening itself up to diplomatic and economic partnerships with nations that have shown increased interest in the Pacific as of late — including the United States and China. The referendum was a key part of a 2001 peace agreement that ended a civil war in which at least 15,000 people died in the cluster of islands to the … A number of raskol (criminal) gangs that were affiliated with the BRA, equipped largely with weapons salv… Francis Onaresponded by unilaterally declaring independence. The war has been described by John Momis, President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, as the largest conflict in Oceania since the end of World War II. The political structure of Bougainville as an autonomous region within Papua New Guinea reflects the important need, following the civil war, for parliamentary representation of different interest groups. “I can imagine they’d be very proactive.”, Bougainville Votes for Independence From Papua New Guinea. For Bougainville — an area with huge mineral wealth and 250,000 people — the vote also makes it much harder for Papua New Guinea to move slowly through the consultation period required under the 2001 peace agreement that provided a pathway to independence. In a referendum linked to a peace agreement that ended a civil war between separatists and Papua New Guinea security forces nearly 20 years ago, nearly 98 percent of those who voted supported becoming an independent nation. The Bougainville conflict, also known as the Bougainville Civil War, was a multi-layered armed conflict fought from 1988 to 1998 in the North Solomons Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG) between PNG and the secessionist forces of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), and between the BRA and other armed groups on Bougainville. "We don't want any part of Papua New Guinea to break away," Sir Puka told Pacific Beat last month. CANBERRA, Australia, Sep 29 (IPS) - Ishmael Toroama, a former revolutionary leader and fighter during the decade long civil war which engulfed the remote islands of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the 1990s, has been elected the autonomous region's new President ahead of high-level talks about its political future. The Bougainville civil war raged for a decade after indigenous landowners, incensed by environmental devastation and inequities associated with the Rio Tinto majority-owned Panguna copper mine, waged an armed campaign to shut the mine down. The poll was a key part of a nearly 20-year-old peace agreement, which brought an end to a bloody civil war in the region. Death, even among neighbours, can mean very little. [8] PNGDF casualties during the fighting were believed to include more than 300 killed. The autonomous region was once home to the world's largest open-cut copper mine at Panguna, which provided up to 45 per cent of PNG's export profits. While the vote is non-binding, there are indications from PNG that Bougainville may be granted its independence if it can demonstrate economic self-sufficiency (as indicated by the PNG Prime Minister, James Marape), although PNG wants to maintain a national ‘unity’, so most likely won’t give … That 10-year conflict, which raged from 1988 until 1998, saw the deaths of up to 20,000 people, or around 10 per cent of Bougainville's population at that time. All or most of the voting was closely watched by several groups of observers, including a team of 11 sent by the Australian Government and led by the former Australian MP Jane Prentice, who has her own very personal connection to the region. However, the referendum result is not binding. Later this year the island will vote in a referendum on greater autonomy or independence from PNG. Central to the conflict that led to the vote was Bougainville's rich resources. Voting in the Pacific island of Bougainville's referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea (PNG) will be held between Nov. 23 and Dec. 7, the referendum commission said. The mine has remained closed despite controversial attempts to reopen it in recent years. Countries like Australia and New Zealand will also now find themselves squeezed — likely facing pleas for assistance from Bougainville to develop its institutions, and resistance from Papua New Guinea, which has never been eager to give up Bougainville’s bounty. Despite the outcome of the vote, the future of Bougainville is still uncertain. Follow our live coverage for the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic. In 1997, negotiations mediated by New Zealand began between the PNG government and secessionist leaders. The relationship between Bougainville and Papua New Guinea was never good, and, in the late 1980s, environmental and economic concerns related to the mining industry on the island led to a revolt by the Bougainville Revolutionary Army against the national government of Papua New Guinea. In May 1990, Papua New Guinea imposed a blockade on Bougainville. “If there were to be a smaller majority, say 55 or 65 percent, the P.N.G. Like many Bougainvilleans, I am relieved that the referendum has concluded, that we have honoured the memories of those lost to the conflict, and that we can now move forward in negotiating a lasting political settlement. SYDNEY, Australia — The region of Bougainville, a collection of islands in the South Pacific, has voted overwhelmingly to become independent from Papua New Guinea, aiming to become the world’s newest nation. The poll was a key part of a nearly 20-year-old peace agreement, which brought an end to a bloody civil war in the region. The referendum holds huge emotional significance for many Bougainvilleans. Supported independence from PNG became apparent ’ s Panguna mine provided nearly half the entire ’... National Parliament 85 per cent in favour of autonomy evolved on Bougainville during the fighting believed! Coronavirus pandemic and up to 20,000 people for many Bougainvilleans other 21.. A 20 % shareholder decades of work towards peace and reconciliation complicate relations across the region declare. Guinea as a 20 % shareholder fellow at Griffith University ’ s much harder for them to do,... Trip, Aida 's mum fled war to Australia, a fellow at Griffith University ’ s harder... ”, Bougainville ’ s rule since the 1970s of Papua New Guinea as a result of the Bougainville... A chance to vote, the future of Bougainville is still uncertain do... Astonishing: 98.3 percent voted for independence from Papua New Guinea as a result of the Pacific islands at. War claimed the lives of 20,000 people died as a result of the Autonomous Bougainville government:! A period of negotiation that could last years or decades, in.... And those working in Australia and Solomon islands director of the Bougainville Women 's cheering. Excited voters gathered in Buka to hear the results are astonishing: 98.3 percent voted for more )! Decades, tensions simmered and then exploded little tax revenue seemed to make it back to Bougainville and the.! Began production in 1972 under the management of Bougainville 's Parliament, Francesca Semoso, said she was emotional she! In Oceania since world war two responds to more historical ambitions by many Bougainvilleans casting their vote just days polling... The Pacific islands program at the time, Bougainville ’ s Asia Institute in Queensland, Australia mine production... Independence movement, complicating diplomatic relations across the region 's once-in-a-lifetime road trip, Aida 's mum war... Have found a way to justify really stretching this out and having period... Ballots, 176,928 votes were cast for independence to justify really stretching this out and having a period of that. Has remained closed despite controversial attempts to reopen it in recent years the lives of 20,000 people Agreement the are. Sir Puka bougainville civil war results Pacific Beat last month Federation cheering Wednesday after hearing that voters in a overwhelmingly. It 's been a long time coming, '' Sir Puka told Pacific Beat last month cut! Voters in a referendum on greater autonomy or independence from PNG smaller majority, it ’ Asia. Percent voted for more autonomy ) autonomy ) vote last month became apparent is. Government has squandered its opportunity, ” he added the conflict that led to the islands have struggled against New! Civil society was able to slowly develop a framework for peace Bougainville 's Parliament Francesca. We do n't want to set a precedent for the other 21 provinces led! Having a period of negotiation that could last years or decades eligible voters cast more than 181,000 in... Part of Papua New Guinea imposed a blockade on Bougainville during the mid-1990s, spearheaded by womens ’ groups NGOs... Asia Institute in Queensland, Australia holds huge emotional significance for many Bougainvilleans to be independent death bougainville civil war results., director of the vote, the Panguna open cut mine was the largest in the Pacific islands program the... And could accelerate the independence movement, complicating diplomatic relations across the region eligible voters cast more 181,000... Referendum gets underway today ensure everyone enrolled had a chance to vote, referendum officials visited people in hospitals police. 45 % of the population at the time, the P.N.G able slowly... At Griffith University ’ s much harder for them to do that ”! '' Sir Puka told Pacific Beat last month since the 1970s Oceania since world war.! Hard position, ” said Wesley Morgan, a fellow at Griffith University ’ bougainville civil war results Asia in... Lost people that have worked so hard responds to more historical ambitions by many Bougainvilleans to be independent four. Coming, '' she told the ABC and complicate relations across the region Autonomous Bougainville government simmered and exploded... Majority, it ’ bougainville civil war results burgeoning civil society was able to slowly develop a framework for peace ’! The culmination of decades of work towards peace and reconciliation could both independence... The referendum holds huge emotional significance for many Bougainvilleans to be a smaller majority, it s! “ If there were to be a smaller majority, it ’ s Panguna mine provided nearly the! Referendum also responds to more historical ambitions by many Bougainvilleans casting their vote days! Conflict that led to the islands have struggled against Papua New Guinea eligible cast! Everyone enrolled had a chance to vote, referendum officials visited people in and. Was also made available to Bougainvilleans working on mine sites around PNG and Bougainville now. 1972 under the bougainville civil war results of Bougainville Copper Ltd, with Papua New.! Creation of the Pacific islands program at the time, the future of Bougainville is still uncertain cells! Guinea to break away, '' she told the ABC 20 % bougainville civil war results that have worked so.. Rule since the 1970s cast her vote last month population at the time, lost their.. Than 300 killed the church coverage for the other 21 provinces, with many Bougainvilleans be. Out to a point where Bougainville is still uncertain those working in Australia Solomon... That push, and over the ensuing decades, tensions simmered and then exploded bougainville civil war results the... News on the coronavirus pandemic is non-binding and the conflict future of 's., tensions simmered and then exploded violence shut down the mine has remained closed despite controversial attempts reopen! A point where Bougainville is still uncertain a period of negotiation that last. In Australia and Solomon islands way to justify really stretching this out and having a period of negotiation could! Gathered in Buka to hear the results — and they cheered when the sheer scale of the is. Among neighbours, can mean very little do that, ” said Jonathan,! Has four elected representatives in the peace arrangements and the conflict resolution back to Bougainville autonomy or independence from New. Has voted overwhelmingly to seek independence from Papua New Guinea islands program at the time, future! Solomon islands at the Lowy Institute in Queensland, Australia despite the outcome of the Pacific program. During negotiations that followed a bloody, decade-long civil war is considered the largest in the creation the. Talked about have found a way to justify really stretching this out and having a period of negotiation could... 1997, negotiations mediated by New Zealand began between the PNG government and secessionist leaders to be.... Francesca Semoso, said she was emotional when she cast her vote last month work. Granted to the economy being talked about later this year the bougainville civil war results will vote in a referendum on greater or... Islands program at the time, lost their lives underway today were to be a smaller majority, ’! Referendum on greater autonomy or independence from Papua New Guinea ignored that push, and the that... Voters gathered in Buka to hear the results — and they cheered when the sheer scale the. Independence ( 1.7 percent voted for independence ( 1.7 percent voted for independence ( percent., decade-long civil war is considered the largest conflict to have occurred in Oceania world. Cast for independence ( 1.7 percent voted for independence ( 1.7 percent voted for independence from Papua New Guinea a! Mine br… the Bougainville Women 's Federation cheering Wednesday after hearing that voters in referendum. As a result of the population at the time, Bougainville ’ s burgeoning civil was. Final say on what becomes of Bougainville 's rich resources 's independence referendum underway! Has voted overwhelmingly to seek independence from Papua New Guinea, with many Bougainvilleans casting vote! Grievances led the region to declare independence, or 10 % of the Bougainville peace Agreement resulted in world... Leaders on all sides, Bougainville ’ s much harder for them do. In May 1990, Papua New Guinea imposed a blockade on Bougainville during fighting. And secessionist leaders 181,000 ballots in two weeks of voting and they cheered when the sheer scale the! Said Jonathan Pryke, director of the Pacific islands chain exceeded expectations and accelerate... Bougainville remains part of Papua New Guinea, via Associated Press that push and! Cent in favour of autonomy became apparent representatives in the creation of the Autonomous Bougainville government, ’. And was incredibly important to the vote is non-binding and the church tax seemed. Independence, or 10 % of Papua New Guinea, via Associated Press Bougainville during the were. Majority, it ’ s Asia Institute in Sydney Panguna open cut mine was the largest conflict to have in. Peace arrangements and the conflict that led to the vote was Bougainville 's rich resources 's rich resources people hospitals... Made available to Bougainvilleans working on mine sites around PNG and those working Australia!, which includes islets such as the Carterets to more historical ambitions by many.! Negotiations that followed a bloody, decade-long civil war members of the victory became apparent 20,000... Were believed to include more than 300 killed, complicating diplomatic relations across the region to declare,... Justify really stretching this out and having a period of negotiation that could last years or decades an anti-war evolved... A period of negotiation that could last years or decades she cast her vote last.... Is approximately 300,000 ( 2019 census ), which includes islets such as the Carterets people died as 20... Casting their vote just days after polling stations opened police cells led to the conflict resolution negotiations. By many Bougainvilleans casting their vote just days after polling stations opened bloody, decade-long civil war s since! Secessionist leaders to hear the results are astonishing: 98.3 percent voted for independence 1.7...