November 2014: It’s been more than a year since I last visited the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea. The main airport that connects the region to the rest of the country is located in the small town of Buka. Government offices and the main business establishments of the region are also situated in this town. And so the main activities of the team I was with were held in Buka although we stayed in the adjacent island of Sohano. Not much has changed since the last time I was there but I was happy to take photos of the place.
Buka is located on the southern coast of Buka Island, in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, in eastern Papua New Guinea (country). It is the capital of the North Bougainville District, and the interim provincial capital of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The city and Buka Island are separated from the northern tip of Bougainville Island by the Buka Passage. Both islands are in the northern Solomon Islands archipelago, and the only major ones not within the nation of Solomon Islands. Buka was the capital of the Bougainville Province, during the 1990s Bougainville Civil War. The former, or “proper” capital of Bougainville, Arawa, was all but destroyed in 1990 as tensions reached a critical level in a civil uprising, which ended in 1997 (Wikipedia).