Jungle Fever

Just five kilometers from Bougainville's former provincial capital of Arawa, a rusting sign sprouts from the roadside jungle. "restricted," it reads in washed-out blood-red letters. "No Go Zone by order of the Mekamui government." The paint may be faded, but the warning is current. Beyond it, a jumble of petrol drums, sticks and signs blocks the narrow bitumen strip, and in the shadows a group of young men stand guard. For most people, Morgan Junction is as close as they dare come to the island's forbidden zone.

But in the middle of May, a...

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