Former German stillehavskoloni votes for independence

A vote on the island Bougainvilles independence from Papua New Guinea is expected to take two weeks to complete. The 206.000 inhabitants in the stillehavsøen

Former German stillehavskoloni votes for independence

A vote on the island Bougainvilles independence from Papua New Guinea is expected to take two weeks to complete.

The 206.000 inhabitants in the stillehavsøen Bougainville has on Saturday opened a referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea.

Ends the referendum with a yes, the earlier German stillehavskoloni the world's youngest nation.

Bougainville is located 640 kilometers east of the Solomon islands, but is a province belonging to Papua New Guinea which is located 1200 kilometers away.

the Island is named after a French explorer, and was a German colony in 1885.

When the First world War broke out, occupied by the australian forces, the island, together with other German territories in Papua New Guinea.

Bougainville was under australian control in 60 years, until the island became part of Papua New Guinea in 1975.

Bougainville is rich in copper and gold, but it is limited in how large a yield the local residents have received from the foreign mining on the island.

Many residents have also suffered from a damaged the environment and poisoned rivers from mining operations.

the Referendum on the independence of the judiciary is a part of a peace process that was agreed 20 years ago between Bougainville and Papua New Guinea.

the Agreement came after a ten-year-long civil war that ended in 1998. 15,000 people were killed in the war.

During the war tried Papua New Guinea to hire british and south african mercenaries, which was to defeat the rebels. This has resulted in a long-term distrust between the inhabitants of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea.

It is expected to take about two weeks to complete the referendum, since many communities on the island are isolated. Some people live so on the smaller nearby islands.

the Result is expected, therefore, first in the middle of december.

People from Bougainville is culturally different from the other inhabitants of Papua New Guinea, and the island has already a certain degree of autonomy with its own government for local affairs.

the Population of Bougainville has two options in the vote: To get even more autonomy, or be completely independent of Papua New Guinea.

/ritzau/dpa

Updated Date: 23 November 2019, 06:00

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