Bougainville Independence Vote Starts
People of Bougainville Island started voting on the referendum giving them two options to choose from: greater autonomy within Papua New Guniea or complete Independence. Voting began on Saturday 23rd November 2019 and will continue for two weeks with results expected in the mid of next month. Around 207000 Bougainvilleans are registered to vote, which caps a 2001 peace deal that ended the 10-year conflict raged from 1988 to 1998 between Bougainville rebels and Papua New Guinea security forces in around 20,000 people died.
Where is Bougainville?
Bougainville is a chain of islands to the east of Papua New Guinea and the north-east of Australia, it is part of the Solomon Islands archipelago and well known for its Panguna copper mine. At present, it is an autonomous region in Papua New Guinea. Panguna copper mine is still estimated to have more than 5 million tons of copper and 19 million ounces of gold, it accounted for more than 40% of exports of Papua New Guinea at one point.