BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
THE Western and Choiseul provinces have openly welcomed the formal signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Autonomous Region of Bougainville council of chiefs (AROB) in Gizo, Western province.
The parties witnessed the signing ceremony during the border dialogue on November 29, 2017, held at the Wesley United church hall.
Western Provincial Peace and Reconciliation Deputy Director Mr Wilson Liligeto told Island Sun Gizo yesterday that the MOU is between AROB and Lauru Pade Vatovato, Lanlala’aha of Famoa and Western Region Vetu Bangara.
Liligeto said the AROB chiefs and traditional representatives of Lauru Pade Vatovato Lanlala’aha of Famoa and Western Region Vetu Bangara met on November 29, 2017 to revisit and finalise discussions of the Bougainville crisis spill-over effects in the Solomon Islands.
He said the Dialogue noted the discussion by the parties to this MOU and acknowledged this process as a follow up from the 2014 Buka meeting.
Liligeto said the parties are committed to carry out traditional or customary reconciliation by way of Bel’Kol (AROB), Bauru (Lauru), Baulu (Shortlands and Inira/Ronu/Here/Tonu of Western Region.
The parties agree to inform and update their respective government at each stage of the process towards the reconciliation, and the parties agree to be represented by focal-points for purposes of information sharing towards the reconciliation process.
“We also allocate four members under the focal-points working groups from Autonomous Region of Bougainville Council of Chiefs (AROB), Lauru Pade Vatovato Lanlala’aha of famoa and Western Region Vetu Bangara.
“Those parties agree in principle that the reconciliation ceremonies between all parties concerned at the traditional and community level will take place before the Solomon Islands National Healing Program this year,” said Liligeto.
Signing for AROB was paramount chief of Lavelai Mr Isaac Laiben; Lauru Pade Vatovato was signed by Vice President Mr James Alepio; Lanlala’aha of Famoa was signed by Chief Mr Benjamine Bising and Western Region Vetu Bangara was signed by President/ Kulugha Council of Chiefs Mr Amon Redley.
Those who witnessed the MOU are Supervising Premier, Minister of Health, Western Province Hon Jane Tozaka, Bougainville Affairs/Veterans Core Group for Unification Mr John Duni Deputy Director Western Peace and Reconciliation Office Mr Wilson Liligeto and Deputy Director Choiseul Peace and Reconciliation Office Mr William Kutini.