The C.R.A. / R.T.Z. Australian owned copper mine at Panguna on Bougainville led to the formation of rebel groups to resist the mine's reopening. The establishment of the copper mine in 1969 left 800 Bougainville people landless and another 1400 without fishing rights. The land was seized by the C.R.A. mining company and forests were cleared. No law in the late 1960's impelled environmental impact studies for industrial developments. Two hundred and twenty (220) hectares of Panguna's forests were poisoned, felled and burnt, then bulldozed directly down into the river, along with tonnes of rich organic topsoil. In 1988, the people of Bougainville forcibly closed C.R.A.'s copper mine at Panguna, the world's most profitable copper mine, leading to military conflcit between the rebel groups and the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government. A bloody civil war ensued, which took up to 20,000 lives on an island of 175,000 people. The war crimes committed by government security…
Bougainville Freedom Fighters (BFF)
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