Should Australia treble its aid to Bougainville to prevent violence? To do so would likely create further distrust. It was Australia that fuelled the violence in the first place, writes Kristian Lasslett.
The Bougainville war was sparked when landowners shut the Rio Tinto owned Panguna copper mine, owing to its corrosive social and environmental effects. Rio Tinto’s PNG subsidiary implored the national government to assert its authority, and to that end provided significant logistical assistance once troops were deployed.