From Academic Kids

This article is about the island; Bougainville is also the name of a commune in the Somme dpartement of France.

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Bougainville is the largest of the Solomon Islands and a province of Papua New Guinea.

Bougainville and the adjacent island of Buka are sometimes called the North Solomons, and are ecologically and geographically, although not politically, considered part of the Solomon Islands. Buka, Bougainville, and most of the Solomons are part of the Solomon Islands rain forests ecoregion.



Main article: History of Bougainville

The island was named after the French navigator Louis Antoine de Bougainville. Starting in the late 1800s it came under German administration as part of German New Guinea. Australia, on behalf of the League of Nations administered it from 1918 until independence.

On March 8, 1943 during World War II, American forces were attacked by Japanese troops on Hill 700 on this island. The battle that lasted five days, ending with a Japanese retreat.

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Independence movement's flag

The island is rich in copper and possibly gold. The Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) ostensibly reclaimed the country from corporate mining interests in the 1980s, in the form of Bougainville Copper Limited, (BCL) an Australian controlled company.

A nine-year secessionist revolt ended in 1997, after claiming some 20,000 lives.

For the majority of the revolt the island was also under blockade, which forced the people to supply themselves with everything from power to soap. Biodiesel was refined out of coconut oil to fuel vehicles as well as building a small hydroelectric power plant out of old vehicle parts.

The resourcefulness of these people can be seen in their use of the coconut which besides biodiesel was also used for making soap, lamp oil, baskets, treating wounds and placed in the coals of a fire to act as a mosquito repellent.

The region is still striving for autonomy, motivated in part by fear of re-established corporate exploitation of the area.

On June 15, 2005 the election of the first autonomous government of Bougainville, presided by Joseph Kabui, was held.

See also

Further reading

  • Douglas Oliver "Bougainville"
  • Paul Quodling "Bougainville The Mine And The People"

External link

  • UN Map #4089 ( Nations map of the vicinity of Bougainville Island, PDF format

Template:Papua New Guineade:Bougainville fr:Rpublique de Bougainville ja:ブーゲンビル島 nl:Bougainville pl:Bougainville tpi:Bogenvil


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