9 Aug 2005

Australian senator urges action over reported troop buildup in Indonesia's Papua

1:11 pm on 9 August 2005

The Australian Democrat senator, Natasha Stott Despoja, is expressing grave concerns over a reported troop build-up in the Indonesian province of Papua.

Senator Stott Despoja says there are reports that up to 15,000 Indonesian troops have been sent to Papua in recent weeks.

She says there are numerous reports that entire villages have been destroyed and the people shot and tortured.

She says there's been a specific and concerted effort by the Indonesian military to increase dramatically national and racial tensions.

Senator Stott Despoja says given recent moves by the lower house of Congress in the United States, the Australian Prime Minister should seriously rethink government policy on Papua.

She says Australia should ask Indonesia to withdraw additional troops from Papua immediately.