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Breaking Spears and Mending Hearts. Peacemakers and Restorative Justice in Bougainville

Howley, Patrick
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) London and New York: Zed Books Ltd.

Bougainville consists of two main islands and numerous small islands and atolls. Up to the late 1800s, the peoples of the islands did not constitute one nation; rather there were nineteen different language groups with numerous independent village states. As part of the European colonization of the Pacific islands, Bougainville became part of the German colony of Papua New Guinea in 1899. After World War I, New Guinea came under Australian administration. Australia finally granted independence to Papua New Guinea in 1975. For ten years in the late 1900s, Bougainville experienced civil war in a struggle for autonomy from the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. The war officially ended in June 2001 when the Province of Bougainville and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army signed a draft agreement for autonomy with Papua New Guinea. In this book Pat Howley, Executive Director of the PEACE Foundation Melanesia, tells the story of how the people of Bougainville, in the midst of civil war, slowly returned to their traditional peacemaking and conflict resolution processes. Replete with actual incidents, examples, and personal stories, the book covers the history of Bougainville; the impact of the civil war; peacemaking initiatives involving reconciliation, mediation and restorative justice, and community development; and issues related to structures of law and justice in the autonomous Bougainville.


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