9 Jan 2003

PNG government wants OPM rebels out of the country

11:59 am on 9 January 2003

The Papua New Guinea Government has issued a directive against Papuan separatist rebels in the country saying it wants them to go back to Indonesia.

Joe Sungi, the Administrator of PNG's border province of Sandaun says Free Papua or OPM rebels will be given an ultimatum to go back to Indonesia within three weeks or face deportation.

Mr Sungi says action will be taken against them if they do not voluntarily go back to Indonesia.

"Everyone in the camps will be given at least two or three weeks to get out of here, and after that there won't be any warning. Police will just go in and get people, arrest them and charge them and deport them. This is being mindful of our relationship with Indonesia."

Joe Sungi says the government will provide funds to finance logistical support for police and defence force soldiers patrolling the border.

He says also that 2000 Indonesian troops are expected to guard the entire length of its side of the border.