Members of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), many with homemade weapons, gather around a ...

Accession Number P04580.065
Collection type Photograph
Object type Negative
Maker Bohane, Ben
Place made Pacific Islands: Solomon Islands, Bougainville
Date made 1994
Conflict Period 1990-1999
Copyright

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright

Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

Members of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), many with homemade weapons, gather around a Second World War Japanese 20mm cannon which was reconditioned at the Panguna mine workshops and used to deadly effect against the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF). In 1994, one of the PNGDF’s Iroquois helicopters, donated by Australia, was reportedly shot down by this gun in the hills above Koromira, southeast Bougainville. The Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) is the main separatist force in Bougainville, declaring independence from PNG in 1990 after PNG forces withdrew from the country. Following a period of anarchy the PNG forces returned to areas of Bougainville where they had local support. The Bougainville Resistance Force (BRF) was founded to oppose the BRA and the idea of a future independent Bougainville dominated by the BRA, which is comprised mostly of members of the Nasioi ethnic group. Australia became involved in peacekeeping activities on Bougainville in 1994, when it provided logistic support to the South Pacific Peace Keeping Force (SPPKF) whose role it was to provide a secure environment for the Bougainville Peace Conference.