Talk:Bougainville Civil War

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WikiProject icon A version of this article was copy edited by slon02, a member of the Guild of Copy Editors, on July 20, 2013. The Guild welcomes all editors with a good grasp of English and Wikipedia's policies and guidelines to help in the drive to improve articles. Visit our project page if you're interested in joining! If you have questions, please direct them to our talk page.

Further expansion[edit]

This article can be further expanded with information from History of Bougainville. It has a much more in-depth explanation of the civil war there, which should be incorporated into this article.--Slon02 (talk) 22:59, 20 July 2013 (UTC)


I believe this article should expand too include the Royal PNG Constabulary's attempts at capturing the Panguna mine & Francis Ona, and maybe new sections and/or expand the current ones.

Also, does anyone think the page's current conflict infobox should be at all edited/changed? Citadel48 (talk) 00:27, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Problems with current state of this article[edit]

@Citadel48: - to be perfectly honest in its current state [1] I think this article falls well short of quite a number of Wikipedia's key policies including WP:NPOV, WP:V and WP:RS. I'm not interested in devoting significant time to this at the moment (as I have other priorities) but I'll provide a few examples so that they can be discussed, and if necessary fixed where req'd. Specifically:

  • The bulk of the article appears to be uncited, so it leads me to question what sources you used when re-writing it and why you have chosen not to cite them? By not doing so the information cannot be verified (pls see WP:V). In many places I suspect this is just your opinion on the topic. This can be rectified by providing inline citations for all major points using reliable sources such as major newspapers, magazines, books or some websites (pls see WP:RS for what constitutes a reliable source). Per policy any material that needs a source but does not have one may be removed by other editors (in my opinion that means everything in this article needs a source ASAP if it is to remain).
  • Where you have cited references these are of poor quality. Note Youtube is not generally considered a reliable source - pls see WP:NOYT.
  • In many places this article, on a clearly controversial topic, seems to lack balance and may breach WP:NPOV. Indeed the section on "Alleged Australian involvement" seems to be based on a single Green Left Weekly article from 1992. For a start this publication is clearly a partisan one (it is a self-described socialist publication and as far as I can see from a few of the previous discussions on the Reliable Sources Noticeboard is not considered reliable [2] [3]). At the very least if this article is going to be used it needs to be supported by other reliable sources. Equally the alternative side of story needs to be provide for balance (i.e. what was the Australian government's response to these allegations)? Also how have these allegations been treated in more recent academic histories of the conflict etc (your main source seems to be 20+ years old)?
  • Also pls be aware of the requirement that exceptional claims require exceptional sources and our policy on fringe theories (WP:FRINGE).

These are just the issues that stick out, and I imagine there are potentially others that would require a more thorough understanding of the topic than I posses and a more thorough read through of the article to check. As such I'm going to post a note on the MILHIST talkpage asking for wider input. Anotherclown (talk) 06:40, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

I agree with the above. Claims of Australian involvement in this conflict require strong sourcing, and old editions of Green Left Weekly and YouTube videos clearly don't meet this standard. Nick-D (talk) 07:32, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
Having been alerted to this via the Milhist talk page, I would also note that some of the YouTube vid links are copyvio links, which are not permitted on WP, and Citadel48 has already been warned for this by several experienced editors. Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 08:20, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
I have removed the Youtube refs now for this reason. Anotherclown (talk) 09:51, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

I specifically stated "indepedant socialist newspaper" when sourcing the GLW article, thus informing the reader of possible bias.

The information about helicopter and Australian support is from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Citadel48 (talk) 15:02, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Peacemaker67 served in the Australian Defence Forces, so of course, he would be eager to defend them from such allegations.

Citadel48 (talk) 15:08, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

You have no idea what my view on such allegations might be. You are skating on thin ice here, pal. Read WP:NPA. As I demonstrated to you on Bijeljina massacre, you can use TV docos as a source, you just need to stop linking a YouTube copyvio to WP. If you don't stop doing this, you will end up getting banned from WP. Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 22:41, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Not a personal attack; it's a legitimate concern. Citadel48 (talk) 23:31, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

@Citadel48: - why were the references that I included, all my copy edits and the NPOV and verifiabily tags that I added last night undone by you here [4] without any discussion? Indeed you simply reverted all changes to the previous very problematic version and have continued to include YouTube and other non-RS to this article (as well as more unsourced text). This seems argumentative to say the least. There is clearly no consensus for your edits as three editors have specifically objected on the talkpage to them now (above - i.e. me, User:Nick-D and User:Peacemaker67), whilst previous similar edits by you were undone in the past by User:JoeSperrazza here [5][6] and User:Arjayay here [7] no doubt for similar reasons. On all of these occasions you have simply re-inserted the problematic material without any discussion. This behavior indicates to me that you don't seem to be interested in collaborating on this article and follows very closely similar patterns that other editors have attempted to discuss with you as a result of your edits to other articles as well. I remind you that you have already been topic banned for similar issues (i.e. YouTube videos) from Bosnia Herzegovina articles here (Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement#Citadel48) as you are no doubt well aware. I note that you are still also consistently marking major edits as minor edits, despite this also being an issue in the recent arbitration and being discussed with you by multiple editors prior to that. I'll ask you again to pls respond to the concerns that I have highlighted above IRT article, in particular the lack of WP:RS and the obvious WP:NPOV issues with the article and the sources you have chosen to use. Anotherclown (talk) 00:15, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

I have explained it, I have sourced the claims. Citadel48 (talk) 00:26, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

I am afraid Citadel48 is WP:NOTHERE, and jumps from one drama to the next adding YouTube copyvios and ignoring consensus. I would report him at WP:ANI but my computer is having a mid-life crisis, and I'm exhausted from ANI and AE reports. Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 00:31, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
I rolled back Citadel48's most recent edits due to the persistent addition of copvio links. Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 00:46, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
PM - ack, I agree with your course of action however given Citadel48 has just reverted again lets just leave it for now. I'll file an ANI if req'd a little latter this afternoon after I get back from going out. Anotherclown (talk) 01:39, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
G'day, I also share serious concerns about the direction of this article. Currently there are references to the Portuguese Wikipedia, youtube, and an "Australian documentary, link removed due to copyright issues" as well as other low quality sources. These are not reliable sources, and large portions of the article still appear to be uncited (which raises verifiability concerns). Claims such as where you specifically name people as taking part in ambushes - for instance what is written about Elliot - should only be included with very high quality sources (and I would suggest not mentioning the person's name at all even if it is sourced), given the potential to impact upon the individual (the relevant policy here is WP:BLP). Equally, including the ADF flag icon in the infobox is hardly appropriate, as it demonstrates acceptance of a point of view which is not universally accepted (discussion of alleged involvement in principle is fine, if it is properly attributed to the reliable source making the claim (i.e. not presented as fact) and the opposite view point is also discussed using sources of equal quality (e.g. WP:RS) and properly attributing their claims, e.g. "A spokesman for the [Blah], has stated "blah".[ref]". @Citadel48:: please start discussing your edits on the talk page; other editors appear to be trying to help you; however, you appear to be ignoring them. As you have been reverted several times now, it seems clear to me that there is not currently a consensus supporting your changes. Please start engaging in meaningful discussions. Once a consensus has been established, then there is a way ahead. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 02:59, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I agree that Citadel48's editing behaviour is highly problematic. There is still a copyvio link at fn29, and the ones using documentaries need counter locations for the material they purportedly support. The reversion of completely legitimate tagging and use of the infobox to push a fringe POV on this subject are also of significant concern. We work collaboratively here on WP, and Citadel48 appears to be WP:NOTHERE, instead creating drama at controversial articles using the same modus operandi. Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 03:14, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

None of the sources dispute the prescence of Asutralian army advisers. Citadel48 (talk) 04:40, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

The point has made repeatedly that what minimal sources you have provided either don't meet the standards of WP:RS (i.e they aren't reliable and hence cannot be used), or don't even refer to Bougainville (but Mt Hagen instead which is on the mainland and would no doubt have been part of normal DCP activities b/n Australian and PNG if it is indeed accurate) blah, blah, blah... all the issues have already been laid out for you and all the policy links provided. I even inserted actual reliable sources (i.e. books and journal articles) for a number of your points but you just reverted them. Anotherclown (talk) 05:13, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
Fairly sure Robert Ray, the Defence minister between 1990 and 1996, denied it (I vaguely recall this, although I was just a kid at the time). There might be a ministerial release or a newspaper article quoting him? AustralianRupert (talk) 21:37, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── See the thread at ANI. Anotherclown (talk) 05:13, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

I've just removed the section on Australian involvement. There's obviously no consensus to include it. Nick-D (talk) 04:49, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Alleged Australian helicopter pilots[edit]

Further to my points above I have removed the claim Australia provide pilots for the Iroquois as according to this article in The Australian newspaper dated 16 July 2011 (which is a reliable source) they were operated, maintained and crewed by Heli Bougainville (a private company) that was contracted to the PNGDF [8]. As such the direct involvement of governments or commercial entities appears to be speculation. If other editors feel this removal was not warranted then pls provide a reliable source which supports the previous assertion. Anotherclown (talk) 08:27, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

@Citadel48: - I note that you have immediately reverted this change with this edit [9] without responding to my concern (you marked it as minor and didn't even provide an edit summary which would be the very least that was warranted in the circumstances I think). I have provided a reliable source which specifically contradicts what you have written and your only sources continue to be YouTube videos which do not come close to meeting the standards req'd for such claims (which border on being fringe theories). Anotherclown (talk) 00:24, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

You may remove the links, but if you do, please do add what the original source, etc. Citadel48 (talk) 01:17, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

No, I've shown you how to do it at Bijeljina massacre. I don't work for you. They are straight-out copyright violations. Stop doing it. Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 01:20, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
@Citadel48: - you are the one who has added the problematic information so it is up to YOU to fix it. We have stated the problem, and attempted to discuss it but you clearly are not interested. You need to ensure this article complies with NPOV and WP:V, I tried to but you just reverted my efforts without discussion [10] and your one line responses are clearly not responses at all. I'm not interested in getting into an edit war with you so unless you make a good faith attempt to address my genuine concerns in the next few hours whilst I am away I'm going to have to file an ANI (its not a threat, its just you haven't left me with any other option). Over to you. Anotherclown (talk) 01:42, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
I'm still awaiting a response to this. Citadel48 are you going to address this? I've tagged the statement as dubious now. Anotherclown (talk) 00:59, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Referencing suggestion[edit]

G'day, currently there is a reference titled "Australian documentary, link removed due to copyright issues". I understand that the link was removed due to copyright concerns, but in its current form, this citation is not adequate in my opinion as it doesn't allow a reader to know enough to find the documentary if they wanted to. Can further details be provided, please? For instance, what was the title of the documentary? What year was it produced? Who produced it? What network aired it? Use of the {{Cite episode}} template when constructing citations might help provide/format the necessary details. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 21:37, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

I agree. And I note that Citadel48 has seen how to do this, as I demonstrated proper citation of such sources at Bijeljina massacre. Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 21:43, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
Personally I think that unless reliable sources are going to be provided for this article the bulk of the material will need to be removed and a stub left in its place (supported by the references which are available). The continued presence of YouTube references in particular is highly problematic but most of the other sources do not come close either. As I see it so far four editors have expressed concern with much of the material here and only one is arguing to keep it which means there is no consensus for it. Anotherclown (talk) 23:28, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't have any issues with the inclusion of the doco's as long as they are positioned chronologically, time stamped for where a particular claim is supported, and conflicting accounts compared and contrasted. I do have a problem with the reliability of Green Left Weekly. Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 23:56, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes I agree with that but that's a big IF ... Anotherclown (talk) 00:48, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
Further - I'm fairly sure The Militant doesn't count as a reliable source either and think this needs to be removed as well. (It is self described as "A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people". Anotherclown (talk) 00:56, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
I'd also add concerns about Papua New Guinea Mine Watch which is also currently used as a reference (it describes itself as a blog). Anotherclown (talk) 01:10, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

References removed by Citadel48[edit]

I previously added the following refs, however they were removed by User:Citadel48 with this edit [11]. Why were they removed and what is your objection to them? As you provided no edit summary I have no idea what your issue is with them. They all qualify as WP:RS and given that you are relying on YouTube videos, Portuguese Wikipedia and The Green Left Weekly I say they are sorely needed.

I was not specifically removing the sources.

Sorry about it. Citadel48 (talk) 00:33, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

You reverted it three times (once when I added them and then twice when Peacemaker67 reinserted them), and you gave no reason at all. I'd suggest that is beyond careless. Are you going to add them back? Anotherclown (talk) 00:45, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Errors of fact - Iroquois helicopters and Pacific Patrol boats[edit]

Besides my contention that the article suffers from significant NPOV issues there are a number of obvious errors of fact which I corrected, however was reverted without explanation by User:Citadel48 with this edit [12]. Specifically:

  • The article refers to Australia providing five Iroquois helicopters; however, according most sources I can find it was only 4 - see Wilson (1994) "Military Aircraft of Australia" p. 32, this is also supported by K. R. Howe, Robert C. Kiste (1994) "Tides of History" p. 305 [13] (which also states that they were later used against the terms of the agreement as gunships by PNG). Statements by Paul Keating during question time on 17 December 1992 and recorded in Hansard clarify that 4 were initially supplied in 1989 and a replacement provided in 1992 for one that crashed in 1991 (in the Highlands, not Bougainville). [14] (this source also discusses their operation and maintenance by a civilian company etc and the terms of their use that were imposed).
  • The article currently states: that "Pacific-class patrol boats that had been purchased from the Australian government in the early 1980s..."; however, this is contradictory with numerous sources that say they were actually donated by Australia as part of the DCP and the first vessel entered service with PNG in 1987 (not early 1980s). See for instance the Nautilus Institute [15] and Hansard again [16]

As I was reverted when I attempted to correct these mistakes I have tagged the statements. Anotherclown (talk) 01:50, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Additionally, I'm fairly sure that the Australian government expressed concerns about how the helicopters were being used, and that it actually strained the relationship between Australia and PNG. (see for instance Jeffery Grey's A Military History of Australia, 2008, 3rd edition, pp. 259-260). These sorts of facts should be covered in the article for balance. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 02:06, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
There is quite an interesting summary of many of the issues in this paper which discusses foreign policy, strategic concerns, Australian support to the post-independence PNGDF as part of the DCP etc, and then later in the 80s and 90s including the helicopters, technical advisors, logistics / equipment, training etc:
Overall, it seems to be quite a nuanced and complicated subject which is not at all covered with any balance in this article at the moment given its reliance on non-RS and partisan sourcing. Anotherclown (talk) 02:53, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
My understanding is that this is a very complicated topic: Australia didn't want to get involved in the Bougainville conflict, but also didn't want to fully suspend its assistance to PNG and the PNGDF. The use of an Australian-donated Iroquois in the war was a significant scandal, and violated the conditions set when it was transferred. Similarly, the Australian Government took pretty strong steps to stop the PNG Government engaging mercenaries during the Sandline affair. High quality (and relatively recent) sources are needed to support discussions of this topic, and not ancient stories from partisan news sources. Nick-D (talk) 05:00, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
This academic source says that Australia provided weapons and advisors to the PNGDF which were used in Bougainville (though it's sourced back to a lobby group's newsletter). Nick-D (talk) 05:09, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
This newspaper story [17] discusses Rio Tinto's role, and the Australian contract helicopter pilots. Nick-D (talk) 05:19, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
As Citadel48 has now been indefinitely blocked, I think those that are interested in fixing this article can get on with it. I'm not going to be one of them, but happy to help where I can if any socking or other disruption occurs. Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 06:22, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Rewrite - August 2015[edit]

I'm probably done now unless anyone has any suggestions. My sources are fairly limited so I don't think there is too much more I could add. It does seem to have been a fairly complex conflict so there is probably quite a bit more that could be covered I agree. That said I never intended on devoting too much time to the article and merely wanted to provide an acceptable overview of the topic. If others wish to take the article further pls by all means feel free (although I would expect that the previous issues with sourcing and NPOV be kept in mind of cse). Anotherclown (talk) 18:29, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

page title? Bougainville Conflict a Civil War?[edit] (talk) 14:28, 18 May 2017 (UTC) Hello, I'm just wondering if it is correct to label the conflict a 'Civil War'? My understanding is that the conflict is secessionist in nature? In other words, the forces based in Bougainville have never claimed or aspired to be the government of PNG? (talk) 14:28, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

Fair question. What do the sources on the topic call it? Per WP:COMMONNAME Wikipedia should use the name commonly used in the literature. Anotherclown (talk) 22:21, 19 May 2017 (UTC)