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President Toroama thanks Governments of China and PNG for the safe rescue of Bougainvilleans missing at sea

As President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, I want to express my profound gratitude to the Government and people of the People's Republic of China for the successful rescue of six Bougainvilleans who were adrift at sea for 31 days after their boat lost power when attempting to return Bougainville from the New Ireland Province.

In a formal diplomatic note from the Chinese Embassy to the PNG National Ministry for Foreign Affairs, confirmed on Tuesday February 27, 2024, that LOMETO, a Marshall Islands flag fishing vessel operated by a Chinese company found the men in Solomon waters, on Monday February 26.  

The timely assistance provided by the Chinese fishing vessel, LOMETO, in locating and rescuing our citizens in Solomon waters is deeply appreciated. I am relieved to hear that they are safe and in good condition.

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Chinese Ambassador, His Excellency Zheng Fanhua, for his swift coordination and to the crew of the LOMETO for their professionalism and care in ensuring the safety and well-being of our citizens.

I also want to extend this appreciation to the Government of Papua New Guinea through its National Department of Foreign Affairs for their effective coordination efforts with the Chinese Embassy in communicating this to our ABG Disaster Office in Bougainville.

I commend the efforts of the Papua New Guinea Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Justin Tkatchenko MP, and the Chinese Embassy in facilitating the safe return of our citizens. 


Hon. Ishmael Toroama, MHR

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