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If somebody asks you to count the number of countries present in the world, then before answering make sure you add one more country to the total count, for the South Pacific region of Bougainville is all set to become the world's newest country. The people living in this group of islands have cast their votes overwhelmingly to get freedom from Papua New Guinea.
Over 180,000 people participated enthusiastically in the referendum which was organised from 23 November 2019 to 7 December 2019. Bertie Ahern, the Chairman of the Bougainville Referendum Commission, announced that more than 98% of the valid votes were cast in the favour of gaining independence. Now it is the leaders from Papua New Guinea and Bougainville who will negotiate the freedom and the lawmakers from the Papua New Guinea Parliament will have the final say on the independence.
Here are some interesting facts about Bougainville:
1.It was four to three thousand years ago when Australasian people settled in Bougainville after they brought some domesticated animals along with them. It was in the year 1768 when Bougainville had its first European contact after Louis de Bougainville, a French explorer named the island after his name.
2.Bougainville became a part of Territory of New Guinea, an Australian Administrative Territory during World War I, when German New Guinea and Bougainville were occupied by Australia.
3.Bougainville is the largest island of the entire extensive group of the Solomon Islands which forms a part of the Northern Salomon Islands. These are politically separate from the Solomon Islands which is a sovereign country.
4.It was on 9 September 1975, when the Papua New Guinea Independence Act 1975 was passed by the Parliament of Australia. According to this act, Bougainville was supposed to be a part of Papua New Guinea but is declared itself to be a republic of the North Solomon. It was due to the lack of international recognition due to which the republic failed and Bougainville was then merged into Papua New Guinea.
5.Over 15,000 lives were claimed by the civil war fought in Bougainville from 1988 to 1998. It was in 2001 when the promise of the Referendum of Independence form Papua New Guinea was given in the form of a signed agreement.
In the 1980s when the civil war started in Bougainville after violence that was provoked by a conflict over an opencast mine at the Panguna.
We hope the new nation will prove to be a better living place for its residents and excel in every aspect.