Reintegration: Bougainville Peace Agreement

Peace Process Consultative Committee (PPCC) Resolution on Weapons Disposal:

Stage 1

6. Stage 1 will begin immediately, initially in areas where there is no Defense Force or Police Mobile Unit presence. It will proceed in all areas as follows:
(1) Councils of Chiefs/Elders will inform UNOMB when the people in a particular area are ready for ex-combatants to disarm and reintegrate into the community, remaining Defense Force and Police Mobile Units to withdraw, and weapons to be securely contained;

14. Recognizing that weapons disposal and reconciliation are both mutually reinforcing and necessary to lasting peace by peaceful means, the parties undertake to co-operate in promoting reconciliation among ex-combatants and in the wider community, and restoration of civil authority in Bougainville.

Implementation History

2001

No Implementation

"The Peace Monitoring Group (PMG) Command’s implementation in late 2001 and early 2002 focused on taking ex-combatant leaders on an island-wide awareness roadshow, to encourage ex-combatants to give up their guns. This left little scope for engaging with grassroots concerns about eradicating or reducing the gun culture and getting the fighting men back into the community fold."1 According to Skark and Bailey (2005: 602-3), there was no or little consideration of the social, economic, or political implications of disarmament for the ex-combatants and their dependents.

  • 1. Natascha Spark and Jackie Bailey, “Disarmament in Bougainville: 'guns in boxes,'” International Peacekeeping 12(4): 603.
2002

No Implementation

Reintegration remained an important issue. On November 28, 2002, Kieran Prendergast, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, told the Security Council that progress in the Bougainville, Papua New Guinea peace process, had experienced some setbacks since last August. He said that the “reconciliation and the integration of ex-combatants remained the absolute priorities to ensure long-term peace, and the early reintegration of former combatants and their engagement in gainful employment should, therefore, be addressed urgently."2

  • 2. "UN Security Council asked to extend mandate of UN Political Office in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea; Under-Secretary-General cites setbacks in weapons disposal plan," M2 PRESSWIRE, November 22, 2002.
2003

No Implementation

Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Danilo Turk, told the Security Council on March 30, 2003, that the, “UNPOB is looking to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other United Nations agencies to take the lead in promoting activities on the island that could facilitate the reintegration and rehabilitation of former combatants and, more generally, the restoration of community services and infrastructure. The UNDP programme in Bougainville is in a transition phase, and UNPOB is holding consultations with the UNDP aimed at ensuring that its valuable contribution to post-conflict peace-building, including the improvement of governance on the island, is sustained."3 Reintegration remained one of the most important issues in 2003. 

  • 3. "UN Security Council told peace agreement between Papua New Guinea, Bougainville can be fully implemented by year's end, despite serious obstacles - Part 1 of 2," M2 PRESSWIRE, March 31, 2003.
2004

Intermediate Implementation

Estimates suggest that approximately 5,000 combatants fought the war. However, 15,000 registered as ex-combatants with AusAid’s BETA fund to reintegrate ex-combatants through business and training opportunities. The program funded 2,734 applicants.4 No precise information is available on how the reintegration process moved forward.

According to Braithwaite et al. (2009), most of the new recruitments for full-time jobs in the police, and as part-time auxiliary police, went to ex-combatants. Large numbers of ex-combatants also got jobs on the AusAid road and bridge rebuilding and repair projects. Only a few of the more senior and more educated combatants got jobs in the Bougainville administration, though many won seats in the House of Representatives beyond those designated for combatants.

2005

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2006

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2007

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2008

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2009

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2010

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.