Bougainville bikies spreading message of peace

A bikies group made up of former combatants of Bougainville’s civil war is spreading the message of peace across the country.

The Bougainville Motocross Club has proved immensely popular and has helped turn around the lives of people who were affected by the war.

The club’s founding president, Emilroy Augustine, said the club had toured across Bougainville.

Augustine, who fought in the war, said he had used his own experiences to help other former combatants.

“We got to remote places and do a bit of a motocross show and all this, some freestyle with our bikes,” he told Pacific Beat.

“Then we’ll bring our little loud hailers and do our awareness campaigns on weapons disposal and the peace treaty.”

Bougainville was administered by Australia after the end of World War II in 1945 until Papua New Guinea gained independence in 1975.

Between 15,000 and 20,000 Bougainvillieans are estimated to have died in the civil war, which saw clashes between secessionists and anti-secessionists from PNG and within Bougainville, between 1989 and 1998.

The conflict has been described as the largest in Oceania since World War II.


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