Between 1989 and 1997 Bougainville endured a complex secessionist war and localised conflict in which it is estimated that as much as 10% of its population died and up to 40% were internally displaced. In light of the extreme scale of the destruction wrought by the war, it is somewhat surprising how successful the peace process has been. In 2001 a comprehensive political settlement, outlined in the Bougainville Peace Agreement, granted Bougainville extensive political autonomy and guaranteed that a referendum would be held on its political future 10-15 years after an autonomous government was formed. By 2005 Bougainvilleans had worked together to conduct a weapons disposal process, draft a constitution and establish the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG). This article considers the progress that Bougainville has made implementing autonomy by evaluating the performance of the ABG. It concludes by foreshadowing Bougainville's future prospects, including the role that autonomy and the deferred referendum have played in settling the self-determination dispute.
|Journal||The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|