By Gideon Davika
In recent times the Domakung/Wida in South Nasioi has gone through terrible violence related to sorcery and land which involved killings and burning of houses and a process is underway to restore peace and normality to the area.
The South Nasioi Council of Elders (COE) stepped in immediately and held a meeting at Roroeinang United Church mission.
This was followed by declaration of ceasefire on the 17th of December last year and, on that same day, a fourteen person high powered committee comprised of representatives from the seven main clans in the area was set up to negotiate peace and eventually agreed to the disposal of weapons in the area.
Ex-combatants within Kieta district was also present at the meeting. Former Bougainville Revolutionary Army General, Sam Kauona said at the meeting that they have worked hard and took many years to build peace on Bougainville and it could take one day to destroy it. He also said that they must be cautious in how they behave in the community, because these few remaining years are very crucial as Bougainville strives to get its referendum.
Peter Karatapi, the chairman of the committee, said that they based their peace building strategy on traditional peace building concepts since the problem occurred in the rural area and some of the victims were also illiterate and cannot understand the laws of the government.
The peace process was started with Karebake, which means ceasefire and agreement, and it was agreed by members and representatives of the two warring parties on the 17th December last year. It was done in a traditional way and two bows and arrows were exchanged and women spoke on behalf of the parties agreeing on the peace and security for all the warring parties and the community as well.
Then it was followed by Mera Tapong, the laying down of arms, on the 20th of January this year at Roreinang United Church Mission. On this stage, the two opposing parties agreed and surrendered their arms to the chiefs.
The guns will remain in the hands of the chiefs until May 2016 when resolution will be passed on final fate of the weapons.
After that they identified the root causes of the problems, in traditional terms known as Miong. A dispute over land was considered as the root of the problems which led to the sorcery killings.
There are about six stages that the committee are yet to go through. The last stage in the process is Napo Kani Kani; rebuilding, reconciliation and rehabilitation.
The committee are working very hard to resolve the issue and restore normality to life and also to ensure the safety of the Domakung/Wida community.
The member of South Nasioi Constituency, Simon Dasiona MP, also continues to support the committee financially as they progress with this process.