When you search Bougainville in a web browser, the first thing you access would probably be photos of the beautiful island, and then the words like armed conflict, civil war, independence, peace agreement, or referendum appear. The Autonomous Region of Bougainville in the Solomon Sea, southwestern Pacific, has a population of about 230,000 people.

Between 1988 and 1998, the Bougainville Civil War has taken thousands of lives. A multinational Peace Monitoring Group (PMG) led by Australia was deployed and Papua New Guinea signed a peace agreement with Bougainville.

Today, Bougainville is now due to having a referendum on whether to become independent next year.

Although it seems that we have unlimited access to information, we still have to perform a meticulous exploration in order to find the ‘right’ information, recognise fake news and must read different perspectives. Therefore, ICO Research Centre has collected the research and discussions on Bougainville for your consideration*:

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*These are the views of the authors and do not represent the views of  International Communities Organisation

* The collection of literature is conducted by ICO Project Worker, Gabriel Okereafor (LLM Human Rights, University of East London).

Do you think there are more to read regarding the case of Bougainville? Please email us your recommended literature including news and reports.

Do you want to contribute the research on Bougainville and self-determination? Feel free to  e-mail your ideas and blog posts to