Voted for independence in a referendum
Voters in Bougainville vote overwhelmingly for independence from Papua New Guinea. However, the Papua New Guinea government will have the final say on accepting it or not.
The President of Bougainville Ishmael Toroama says that the region needs to take a holistic approach in order to gain full independence from Papua New Guinea. Toromoa pointed towards receiving international aid to build an economy for the region which overwhelmingly voted for independence in a referendum in 2019.
Elections for the House of Representatives and the president of Bougainville start taking place. The outcome of the election might have a major impact on the region's future as it follows last year's non-binding independence referendum which saw 98% of the voters approving independence from Papua New Guinea. The election is held a week after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the region and is scheduled to run until the first of September.
People in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville vote to choose between more autonomy within Papua New Guinea or outright independence. However, the Papua New Guinea central government will have the final say on accepting independence.
Crowds gather in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, to show solidarity and to campaign for the freedom of West Papua, which is under Indonesian control. Meanwhile, churches push the government of Papua New Guinea to take a firm stand on the situation.