The Green Islands (Nehan) in The Post War Period

In the post-war period, the Green Islands become a province of Bougainville, in the nation of Papua New Guinea. They are now generally referred to as Nissan or Nehan - the native name. War broke out when Bougainville attempted to seceed from Papua New Guinea, a battle enhanced by the easy availablility of ammunition left on Nissan by departing WWII troops. 

As the death rate moved into the tens of thousands, a Catholic Women's organization began an extraordinary process of bringing peace to their land.  They succeeded: in July, 1997, a settlement was reached, launching Bougainville toward its present status as an autonomous PNG province.  Parliament was elected seats were guaranteed to women, in honor of their remarkable achievements.  Joseph Kabui became the first president, amidst great hopes; he died. 

As the area approaches another presidential election, it continues struggling toward political and economic viability and stability.  Peace is still uneasy, but the remaining abandoned ammunition on Nissan has been destroyed under United Nations auspices. Meanwhile, the most promising capital for the fledgling country, Rabaul, was destroyed by a volcano in September 1995. 

The History of Green Island by Milton Bush includes more details about the current situation.  

(picture by William Blake)

The Women's Peace Initiative offers a timeline of the war and peace efforts.

1976-1989: Fr. George Lepping, SM: Parish priest on Nissan Island

March 1979-Dec. 1981: Health Center re-opened by Sr. Sharon Becker, CSJ

Fr. Duffy, SM: Priest

1971-Stephen Nachman, Edinboro Univ., PA: thesis on Nissan funeral rites, weather, flora

Lagoon Airdrome (Nissan)

Research on ancient and pre-war anthropology
Matthew Spriggs, The Island Melanesians,

Fire Eating Dance and other Nissan Customs

1995: Samuel (PT Ron 23) and Pat Frankel visit

1995- Volcano destroys Rabaul (account of David Bond)
Late 1990s-2000s-Ammunition dumped on Island finally removed

1994-5: Peace Corps volunteers teaching in Nissan school:
David and Laura Bond

Mid 1980s-at least mid 1990s: SIL Missionaries from Balil
John & Ariana Glennon

Women's Peace Initiative (pdf file)

1999: Peacekeepers: Josh McDade

Mosquito problems in Nissan since WWII spraying

Agnes Titus Nissan Native receives UN Peace award

Helen Hakena (of Nissan) and the Women's Peace Movement
Includes timeline of Political events

2003: New school on Nissan.

Aid from Australian Compasnies and GovernmentThe Nissan Island Holy Cross High School Project provided for the upgrading of a school on which had become a safe haven for children from mainland Bougainville, resulting in severe overcrowding. Several new dormitories, classrooms and administration buildings were built and water and electricity services improved.

2001: New Zealand Teacher in Nissan School: