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Without A Gun: Australians' Experiences Monitoring Peace In Bougainville, 1997-2001
Australians' Experiences Monitoring Peace In Bougainville, 1997-2001
What makes these stories arresting? They are ripping yarns, in which volunteers work unarmed on a tropical island where civil war has recently been suspended. They offer a contrast to Australia's glamorous Timor intervention. They present a different way of projecting Australian interest. They turn colonial stereotypes upside down. Bougainvilleans invited these volunteers and constantly determined the conditions in which they worked. They were required not to act but to bear witness. Month after month they held the ring and provided facilities and services while peace negotiations dragged on to their conclusion in 2001. What is unique is not just the monitors' achievements, but the impact on them of working in a multinational force of men and women, soldiers and civilians. In many ways Bougainvillean men, women and children shaped the lives of the monitors. This is a book with a happy ending.
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