By Aloysius Laukai
The member for Peit
Constituency in the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Lawrence Bele, says all
ex combatants must be rehabilitated and reconciled if Bougainville
Mr Bele made the remarks at a ceremony to announce that 41 ex-combatants from the Peits constituency will attend a trauma counselling workshop at the Nazareth Rehabilitation Centre at Chabai.
He said he has been trying to find ways to rehabilitate ex combatants to fit into the community as good citizens after the ten year conflict.
He said another batch of ex- combatants will attend a similar course towards the end of August.
Mr Bele said after these courses, further training will be held in the constituency to include mothers and the rest of the community.
The one week training is funded by the United Nations Development Program.
The ceremony was witnessed by the Minister for Reconciliation and Weapons Disposal, Robert Hamal, Acting Chief Administrator, Patrick Koles, and representatives of UNDP and AusAID.
Representatives of AusAID program on Bougainville, Edwina and Roslyn Kenneth told the ceremony that AusAID will continue to support the work of building peace in the province.
They congratulated the member for Peit, Lawrence Belleh, Sister Lorraine from the Nazareth Rehabilitation Centre and UNDP for developing counselling training for the Peit ex-Combatants.
They also thanked the ex-combatants for agreeing to attend the one-week program.
They said that in any post conflict situation, prior to carrying out development projects, rehabilitation, healing and counselling must be undertaken first.
They said that they were confident that the counselling organised by Sister Lorraine will help re-integrate the former combatants into their communities.
three programs in its efforts after the Bougainville
At the same ceremony, the UNDP Program Officer on Bougainville, Wesly Kenneth, also announced UNDP support for three programs to assist the ABG to establish lasting peace and normalcy: Good Governance, Peace & Reconciliation, and Economic Revival.
Mr Kenneth said UNDP sees trauma as one of the impediments that, if not addressed, will prolong the peace process.
He said UNDP has completed some trauma workshops in Arawa and is piloting a program geared towards ex-combatants throughout the entire region.
He said trauma
cases were similar throughout Central, South and North Bougainville and must be tackled head on.
He said trauma cases were similar throughout Central, South and North Bougainville and must be tackled head on.