Cease Fire: Bougainville Peace Agreement

BPA Introduction and Outline:

It is intended to further the objectives of The Burnham Truce, the Lincoln and Ceasefire Agreements and other agreements and understandings between the parties.

Lincoln Agreement on Peace, Security and Development on Bougainville:

1. Peaceful Means

The parties will cooperate to achieve and maintain peace by peaceful means. They also pledge to renounce the use of armed forces and violence, and agree to resolve any differences by consultation, both now and in the future. They also confirm their respect for human rights and the rule of law.

2. Extension of the Truce

The parties agree to extend the period of the truce currently in force to 30 April 1998 to allow for consultation as regards the establishment of the ceasefire.

3. Ceasefire

3.1 A permanent and irrevocable ceasefire will take effect in Bougainville at 2400 hours on 30 April 1998.

3.2 The parties will cooperate to reduce fear in Bougainville and take urgent steps to cooperate in promoting public awareness of, and respect for, the ceasefire.

3.3 Immediately after the ceasefire takes effect, the parties will refrain from use of arras, ammunition, explosives and other instruments of death, injury or destruction in Bougainville.

3.4 The parties will not manufacture, trade or distribute weapons or ammunition.

3.5 The parties will cooperate in accordance with the law in reporting and preventing the use, manufacture, importation, sale, trade or exchange of weapons and ammunition.

3.6 The parties will cooperate with the successor to the Truce Monitoring Group in recording, locating and arranging for the disposal of all arms, ammunition, explosives and other instruments of death, injury and destruction, including parts and ingredients of all the parties in Bougainville.

The Burnham Truce:

Reaffirming the principles contained in the Burnham Declaration of 5-18 July 1997, representatives of the National Government of Papua New Guinea, the Bougainville Transitional Government, the Resistance, the Bougainville Interim Government and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, having met in Burnham military camp, New Zealand, from 1 to 10 October 1997, recognize the desirability of taking immediate positive measures:

To cease armed conflict;

For peace and reconciliation; and

For the return of normalcy and restoration of services by all parties, and pending a formal meeting of leaders, desirably by 31 January 1998,

Have agreed, as immediate interim measures, to the following:

1. To respect and promote basic human rights and fundamental freedoms;

2. To refrain from all acts of intimidation and armed confrontation;

3. To promote peace and reconciliation in the community;

4. To lift all restrictions so as to restore freedom of movement and delivery of services to the people of Bougainville, subject to appropriate clearances;

5. That field commanders of the Papua New Guinea Security Forces, the Resistance and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, and village chiefs meet on a regular basis to consult, review and monitor the implementation of this commitment as well as to consult as required and resolve any incidents which may threaten or breach these understandings as well as to promote the aspirations expressed herein;

6. To recommend to the National Government and leaders on Bougainville to immediately invite a neutral regional group to monitor the terms of this agreement.

Implementation History

2001

Intermediate Implementation

A confrontation between PNG defense force soldiers and youth from Ieta village occurred during a dance on December 19, 2001. Both soldiers and Ieta youth reportedly discharged shots. The confrontation, however, was not serious enough to be a complete violation of the ceasefire agreement.1

  • 1. "Papua New Guinea: Ex-combatants threaten to halt arms handover," BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, December 19, 2001.
2002

Full Implementation

The ceasefire and Peace Monitoring Group were set in place. The 1998 ceasefire was not breached in any manner that threatened the peace process. According to the Hon. Sir Moi Avei, Minister for Bougainville Affairs (Papua New Guinea), "The commitment to the goal of peace by peaceful means displayed by ex-combatants meant that they put away many guns -- and helped to convince the [Papua New Guinea] National Parliament to give their support -- before the Bills to give legal effect to the Bougainville Peace Agreement were put to the vote."2

2003

Full Implementation

As international peacekeepers were withdrawn from Bougainville (on July 2, 2003), armed militia members, who wanted full independence, threatened to resume violence (Source: Bougainville Hardliners Threaten to Disrupt Fragile Peace in Papua New Guinea, World Market Research Center, World Markets Analysis, July 03, 2003). No violence occurred and the ceasefire was maintained. 

2004

Full Implementation

The ceasefire was maintained. 

2005

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2006

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2007

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2008

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2009

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2010

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.