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28th Feb 2008, London, United Kingdom – This weekend 1st and 2nd March 2008 coincides with Mother's Day and New Zealand Brigadier Roger Mortlock OBE, a veteran of Vietnam and Angola, will be available for interview to describe how mothers played a vital role in bringing peace to Bouganville, a Pacific island destroyed by a vicious, 10-year civil war. Women had had enough of the slaughter that killed 20% of the population and mothers didn’t want their sons DYING any more. Peace-keepers leveraged their matriarchal influence and all three armies laid down their guns 24 hours after peace-keepers arrived!

According to peaceBrigadier Roger Mortlock OBE ‘Mothers are incredibly important in all cultures and they’re undervalued. Women are disempowered in war but even a tough-as-nails General listens to his mum’s opinion. We empowered women again and they persuaded freedom fighters and army leaders to give peace a chance! Ordinary men and women found something extra inside themselves to do something brave and different. Our coalition peace-keeping soldiers arrived unarmed and even went into the jungle with warwithnogunsguitars instead of guns!’

300km from Papua New Guinea, Bouganville’s copper mine had contaminated water supplies in 1988. A dispute over copper-mining compensation escalated into a three party civil war and island infrastructure was destroyed - no roads, power, water supplies, shops, money, law nor order. During peace-keeping reconnaissance, a Politician whispered ‘The Winds of Change are blowing over these islands. We need to grasp the opportunity for peace quickly or we’ll pass the point of no return’.

Fourteen peace agreements imposed by outsiders had failed and children had grown so accustomed to war they would soon be unable to lay down their guns. The Rebel General’s wife, Josephine Sirivi Kauona became head of the independence womens’ movement. She put her differences aside (no small thing after 10 years of bitter civil war) and joined with the leader of the Government’s womens’ movement - Theresa Jaintong. Along with NZ Lieutenant Colonel Janet Castell, they visited key towns and villages to motivate women to reclaim their traditional authority. They promoted womens’ intervention in the peace process at all levels - in the home – right through to the political level.

At a critical moment, Jossie Kauona intervened directly. She badgered military and political chiefs until more pro-peace women delegates were included in the Lincoln Talks. This superb piece of persuasion helped change the balance of power. Seizing peace meant a great deal of compromise but by now, women simply saw peace as more important than independence!

It was a real team effort and Womens’ involvement was a crucial "moving part" within the peace process. The Rt Hon. Don Mckinnon (recent Commonwealth Secretary General) provided political momentum. John Hayes provided diplomatic skills and Bougainville leaders like Honorable Joseph Kabui and General Sam Kaouona were among many who became architects of this lasting peace.’

Because it was constructed by the people, for the people, ‘The People’s Peace’ has lasted ten years. A woman may walk down the road and come face to face with the man who raped her, but the amnesty forbids retribution.

The role of women as the architects of ‘The People’s Peace’ will be a key theme for the ministry for peace meeting in Parliament at 7pm on 2nd April at Portcullis House, Embankment, London SW1A. For tickets call 01453 752701 or contact diana.basterfield@ministryforpeace.org

This summer, a documentary called warwithnoguns‘War With No Guns’ will be released. New Zealand film director Will Watson believes these ‘soft power techniques’ are a blueprint for peace in other war-torn areas. He seeks a worldwide film distribution deal and further investment of £200,000 to complete the film to cinema standards. Brigadier Mortlock backs the film 100% saying ‘It’s time the world became aware of this very different and successful peace process.’ See trailer here http://www.swindonweb.com/office/?m=580&s=596&ss=0&c=1954 Contact willw@ihug.co.nz
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To Invest in the Film 'War With No Guns' or to provide help with viral marketing, contact:

Will Watson
TMI Pictures
Email: willw@ihug.co.nz
Mobile: +34 95 25 22186

NOTE TO EDITORS:

Brigadier Roger Mortlock OBE is only in the United Kingdom on the afternoon of Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd March 2008 before flying back to New Zealand on Monday 3rd March. We can arrange interviews at his hotel and will supply details upon request.

Brigadier Roger Mortlock OBE now lectures in the art of warfare at a University in New Zealand. He is well-versed in the art of warfare having served in the line of fire in Vietnam and Angola. He has been in Europe in 2008 visiting D-Day landing sites as research for a course.

A book called ‘Mr.Pip’ by Lloyd Jones covered his childhood experience of Bouganville’s civil war and it was shortlisted for the 2007 Man BOOKER PRIZE.

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