21 May 2009

Talks continue to end Papua airstrip occupation

1:37 pm on 21 May 2009

Indonesian police have continued with attempts to negotiate with dozens of Papuan residents who have been blocking a small airport in Kapeso district.

The police chief in the province, Inspector General Bagus Ekodanto, has told the Jakarta Post they are still negotiating and have asked the locals to re-open the airport.

He says police police have yet to ascertain a motive for the closure.

He says police have received information that the airport blockers include members of the Free Papua Organisation a separatist group has been been fighting for Papuan independence since the early 1960s.

He warned if negotiation fails, police will take the airport closure very seriously and punish those responsible to the full extent of the law.