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Media Statement from the Office of the President: Collective Responsibility to Law and Order

Upholding the rule of law and maintaining order in our communities is the collective responsibility of every citizen of Bougainville in North, South and Central Bougainville.

Law and order are not the sole responsibility of law enforcement agencies or government officials. They are a collective responsibility that each one of us shares.

Our actions contribute to the overall well-being of Bougainville so we must commit to fostering a culture of respect, cooperation, and adherence to the rule of law.

These responsibilities call for us to respect law and order; it does not in any way give us the right to take the law into our own hands.

Over the last six months, I have seen our people tread a dangerous path where citizens have taken matters into their own hands.

The recent events in Buin Town, South Bougainville where local businesses were ransacked and the aborted landing of an Air Niugini flight into Buka Airport are such instances where our people took the law into their own hands.

Vigilantism and extrajudicial actions undermine the very foundations of justice. When individuals bypass legal processes, it erodes trust in our institutions and disrupts the balance of our society.

Let us remember that justice must prevail through legal channels, not through violence or retribution. Our courts and law enforcement agencies exist to uphold fairness and protect the rights of all citizens.

I urge our people not take advantage of the incapacity of the Bougainville Police Service and its limitations by the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

Because we are a post-conflict society, we have a unique policing model that stresses community engagement as opposed to the use of lethal force.

This is a privilege that we must embrace by supporting our police officers and collectively supporting law and order on Bougainville.

When we uphold law and order collectively, we strengthen our resolve to achieve our aspirations. Our shared commitment to justice and security binds us together as a resilient community.


Hon. Ishmael Toroama, MHR

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