9 Jan 2009

Hundreds of Papuans in PNG gear up for repatriation to Indonesia

3:25 pm on 9 January 2009

More than 700 West Papuans living in Papua New Guinea have put their names on a list at the Indonesian Embassy in Port Moresby ahead of their planned repatriation to Indonesia.

An Indonesian embassy official in Port Moresby has told the Post Courier newspaper that the West Papuans had given their names for voluntary repatriation.

Abdul Hakim says their return is planned between February and April.

He says most of the Papuans had realised that the current conditions in Papua had improved since 2001 when the province became autonomous and want to return to their home.

Many had fled across the land border to escape separatist violence.