Papua New Guinea. According to
Countryaah official website, about 60 people lost their lives in
tribal battles that raged in the Eastern Highlands province
in March. The combatants used modern light weapons that were
probably stolen from the army.
The so-called reconciliation government on the island of
Bougainville was replaced by an election in May by a
People's Congress that appointed Joseph Kabui as chairman.
The year before, a peace agreement had been concluded
between the PNG government and the island of Bougainville's
rebel army, which for nine years fought in vain for
In June, Prime Minister Bill Skate dismissed four of the
coalition government's ministers and replaced them with
members of the opposition. Shortly thereafter, nine
ministers left the government, and in early July Bill Skate
found it too good to resign himself before the opposition
had the chance to conduct a planned vote of no confidence.
New government leader was Mekere Morauta, leader of the
People's Democratic Movement. Morauta was supported by 99 of
the Parliament's 105 members. The Foreign Minister was
appointed veteran politician and PNG's first Prime Minister
Michael Somare, who was also given responsibility for the
sensitive issues regarding Bougainville.
Morauta's measures to stabilize the currency, balance the
budget and privatize state-owned companies won confidence
with the World Bank, which in November promised PNG a $ 300
million aid program linked to ongoing restructuring. During
the year, among other things, the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs budget reduced by 40%, and a temporary ban was
introduced on foreign trips for ministers and government