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President’s Statement on Arawa incident

The unfortunate events that led to the death of the young man in Arawa Town allegedly at the hands of law enforcement officers will not be ignored or taken lightly.

I condemn this atrocious act in the strongest terms as it goes against every effort my government in collaboration with our police and our communities are trying to do to curb crime and lawlessness on Bougainville.

While I understand the pain and sorrow the family of the young man are going through, I urge them to refrain from further actions that takes the law into their own hands.

I am also issuing a stern warning to opportunists from capitalizing on this tragedy by trying to cause havock and mayhem in Arawa Town.

The suspects responsible for this horrendous crime will be dealt with according to the law. No one is above the law, even if you wear a law enforcement uniform.

I want to reassure the people of Bougainville that the actions of a few persons do not define the Bougainville Police Service.

We have many hard working officers who wear the uniform proudly and are committed to serving Bougainville and maintaining the standards of the BPS as a law enforcement agency.

In any post conflict area such as Bougainville it is often difficult to maintain law and order however our BPS officers must not fall prey to unwarranted use of force that is nothing short of police brutality.

The rogue officers who were involved in the case will face the full brunt of the law but first we must allow the police to continue their investigations so that justice may prevail.

I urge the our leaders from Siwai and Kieta to support the police and find an amicable solution to resolving the matter peacefully.

I extend my gratitude to the Police Minister Hon. John Bosco Ragu, Bougainville Police Chief Francis Tokura and the family of the deceased for their efforts to collaboratively find a way forward.

At a time of adversity and challenges, our people must be united and choose a path that stresses on peace, respect and the love for our fellow Bougainvilleans. Do not lose hope.

We will overcome each obstacle as we face them.

God Bless you all and God Bless Bougainville.


Hon. Ishmael Toroama, MHR


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