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Conflict in Bougainville Islands

Bougainville Island has been part of Papua New Guinea since 1884. But the people who live there are more similar to people from the Solomon Islands, which are close by.

In 1988 an uprising began on Bougainville Island. The local people wanted independence. For many years rebels fought against the government. More than 20,000 people died during the conflict.

In 1998, a ceasefire was signed. Peacekeepers arrived, including New Zealand soldiers. Three years later a peace agreement was signed. Papua New Guinea agreed Bougainville Island could become independent. The final stages of the agreement are still being discussed. In a few years Bouganville's first elections will be held.

The war has left many people homeless. The economy has still not recovered.

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