The island of Bougainville is the main island of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville of Papua New Guinea. It is named after a French explorer named Louis-Antoine de Bougainville. This region is also known as Bougainville Province or the North Solomons. 175,160 people live on the island of Bougainville. About 28,000 years ago, the first people settled down on the island. Three to four thousand years ago, Austronesian people arrived, bringing with them pigs, chickens, dogs and tools. The first European contact with Bougainville was in 1768, when the French explorer Louis de Bougainville arrived and named the main island for himself (as said above). Germany claimed the island of Bougainville in 1899, naming it German New Guinea. Christianity arrived on the island in 1902. During World War I, Australia occupied German New Guinea, including Bougainville. In 1942 during World War II, Japan invaded the island, but it was returned to Australian control in 1946. Bougainville became part of an independent Papua New Guinea in 1975.
This is where I’ll go into more depth. When Papua New Guinea became independent, short after a civil war broke out. The civil war was fought out between the Papua New Guinean government and the independence fighters, also called separatists. The first independence movement arose when they finally stood up against the government on the issue of the Panguna mine. The civilians only got 0,5% share of the total profit, while the government itself got 20%. The mine was of big importance for the Papua New Guinean government, but the people of Bougainville were seeing little benefit from it. The people accused Bougainville Copper Ltd., of being responsible for poisoning the entire length of the Jaba River, and causing birth defects, as well as the extinction of the flying fox on the island. This all led to the decision in late 1988 of two cousins and local leaders, Francis Ona and Pepetua Serero, to take up arms against the Papuan government....
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