BOUGAINVILLEANS who have been locked-up on our side of the border following the imposition of travel restriction will soon return home.
A plan to facilitate their safe return is currently underway between the government of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Island.
The revelation was made by the Secretary to Prime Minister Dr. Jimmie Rodgers during Sunday’s talk-back show.
“To the Bougainvillean at the borders, we’re working hard and as soon as the PNG Gov’t give us the clearance for permission to go back, we will activate action on this side to help you go across to Bougainville,” he said.
The Bougainvilleans were restricted to return to Bougainville when the State of Emergency was activated in Solomon Islands last year due to the global pandemic.
“We sympathise with people of Bougainville that wanting to go back and people of Solomon Islands who want to come across.
“As far as the government is a concern, we are working on ways for your safe return to your loved ones.
“The problem this time is that the PNG government has imposed two sets of requirements that we must satisfy,” he said.
The first one is the fact that the incident controller in PNG must first give his approval before Solomon Islands government can send back PNG citizens across.
Secondly, the PNG government requires that the Covid-19 test using PCA machine be conducted three days to determine the status of a person prior to returning.
SIG will soon carry out tests on Bouganvillians on the border and send samples to Honiara for determination.
“Once testing is done and all results are in, then both governments will then activate their respective immigration for the actual transfer of the citizens,” he said.
Dr. Rodgers said they are expecting the High Commissioner of PNG to arrive towards the end of this month and that they are hoping that once the commissioner is here, communication with PNG might be easier and quicker.