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By Timothy King

A decade long war in Papua New Guinea has left deep scars on Bougainville and its people. Some will never be erased, others may fade with time.

Many of the horrors experienced are unimaginable. Speaking from her hospital bed in December 1999, Cecillia recalls her treatment at the hands of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF):

In a major turn-around for the opponents of the Chinese Ramu Nickel Mine in Papua New Guinea, the Minister of Environment and Conservation ordered the company to halt work while he undertakes further studies on the environmental impacts of their tailings pipeline. The pipeline extends from the mine site in the mountains of Madang province to the coast, a distance of 134 kilometers.

In a vote of 2 to 1, Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruled that the Chinese owners of the Ramu nickel mine may dump toxic waste from their mine and refinery directly into the Bismarck Sea at Basamuk. The plaintiffs in the case were Rai Coast landowners Louis Medaing and 1083 others, representing thousands of Indigenous families whose livelihoods depend on the health of the marine ecosystem.

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