Leo Nuia

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Leo Nuia
Occupation military officer
Known for was his country's senior military officer

Leo Nuia was an officer in the Papua New Guinea Defence Force.[1][2]

In 1991, when he was a Colonel, he replaced Colonel Lima Dataona as local commander on Bougainville Island, during a civil uprising.[1] Security Challenges described him as a "hardliner".[3] It said he led an unauthorized landing on Bouganville, that was counter to an interim ceasefire Papua New Guinea's civilian leadership had negotiated with Bouganville rebel forces, and disrupted their attempts to reach a lasting Peace Agreement. Nuia was suspended, after he publicly criticized the Minister of Defence.

The final result of the conflict was that the rebels earned Bouganville Island the status of an autonomous region, within Papua New Guinea.

In 1997 Nuia served as Commander of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Niki Raath (1991-12-19). Moral Support? Australia's respons to Papua New Guinea's internal security problems. Parliamentary Research Service. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved on 2020-11-09. “Brigadier General Rochus Lokinap was reinstated he immediately and successfully demanded thereplacement of Dataona by Colonel Leo Nuia.”
  2. 2.0 2.1 PNG DEFENSE FORCE COMMANDER NUIA CRITICAL OF ARREST. Pacific Islands Development Program (1997-07-31). Archived from the original on 2020-11-11. Retrieved on 2020-11-11.
  3. The Military in Papua New Guinea: A ‘Culture of Instability’ But No Coup, Security Challenges, 2014, pp. 58, 59, 61, 62. Retrieved on 2020-11-11. “Shortly after this, the acting PNGDF chief of staff, Colonel Leo Nuia, publicly rebuked the defence minister, saying he 'should refrain from making wild statements on matters affecting the operations of the soldiers and police' on Bougainville.”