BOUGAINVILLE President John Momis has condemned the recent border incursion by armed men into a Solomon Islands village. Last Wednesday, February 6, a group of armed men from South Bougainville and Solomon Islands attacked Maleai village just along the PNG and Solomon Islands border. The group made off with a substantial amount of money from a Chinese national who was buying beche-de-mer on the islands while wounding at least two villagers in the process. “On behalf of the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the people of Bougainville I offer my sincere apologies to the people and government of Solomon Islands for this unwarranted attack on the people of Maleai village,” Mr Momis said. “I must remind Bougainvilleans that despite the international boundary separating Bougainville and Solomon Islands we are a people bounded by culture, tradition and even stronger family ties from both sides of the border,” he said. Mr Momis said that this however does not permit Bougainvilleans or Solomon Islanders for that matter to take advantage of the ties shared by them and harass the peace loving people who live along the border. He said that Solomon Islands is an independent nation and Bougainvilleans must respect its sovereignty, “we do not have the right to cross its borders at will without due cause or proper authorisation”, Mr Momis said. “Our people must be reminded that during the darkest hours of the Bougainville crisis, Solomon Islands offered us refuge and support,” Mr Momis said. He said that Solomon Islands also played a big role in helping to bring about peace on Bougainville during the negotiations and during the years of the Peace Monitoring Group. “I am now charging the Minister for Police and the Bougainville Police Commissioner to deal with this issue and bring the suspects to justice,” the president said. As the crime was committed in Solomon Islands the suspects arrested would be extradited to that country to be tried according to their laws.