A possible new may be added to the family of nations. Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has voted for . A referendum was held on the . Over 181,000 people cast their and nearly 98 per cent of voted in of independence. It was a non- referendum, which means the PNG government does not have to make it . However, PNG should act on the .
Bougainville is the of the PNG chain of . It is part of the Solomon Islands and used to be called the of North Solomons. Bougainvilleans started a for independence in the 1960s. Bougainville became of PNG in 1976. This started the -long Bougainville War, in which 20,000 people lost their . The Prime Minister of PNG said his was committed to respecting the poll's .