15 Jul 2008

PNG's Sanduan Governor says locals live in fear

10:07 am on 15 July 2008

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's Sandaun province says local people living along the border with Indonesia are in fear for their lives due to incursinos by Inonesian military.

Indonesian soldiers are reported to be defying diplomatic and military protocols by violating international border agreements with PNG.

PNG Forestry Minister Belden Namah has just visited the border area in his Vanimo Green electorate where locals have reported frequent incursions in recent months.

Sandaun governor, Simon Solo, says the incursions have been happening for years, often when Indonesian soldiers are in pursuit of West Papuan separatists or refugees.

He says local people are being harassed by the soldiers.

"Our local people along the border, they are in fear of their lives. It stops them gonig to look for food, (tending) food gardens and all this... because they are in fear for their lives."

Governor Solo says complaints about the incursions directed to the PNG Defence Force headquarters go unanswered.