3 Sep 2004

PNG troops deployed in border area with Indonesia after reports of clashes with West Papuan rebels

10:19 am on 3 September 2004

For the first time in two years, Papua New Guinea troops have been sent to Kiunga in the south of Western Province where PNG shares a border with Indonesia.

The deployment of 30 troops comes after unconfirmed reports of illicit activities by pro-independence rebels from the Indonesian province of Papua.

The Acting Chief of Staff for the PNG Defence Force, Colonel Jo Fabila says the actions of the OPM rebels are taken very seriously.

"'We're always concerned about that and we always maintain that any situation involving the OPM is an Indonesian internal matter and we take every measure to inform them or ask them to move to their side of the border so they don't bring the problems on the PNG side of the border."

Colonel Fabila says the troops will be deployed on the border for three months.