20 Jan 2010

Indonesia appoints new military commander to West Papua and Papua

11:21 am on 20 January 2010

Indonesia's military has appointed a former Kopassus special forces officer, Major General Hotma Marbun, as the new military commander of West Papua and Papua provinces.

It comes as the Free Papua Movement, or the OPM, has appointed a new Commander of its own military wing to replace Kelly Kwalik who was shot dead by Indonesian police last month.

Johnny Blades reports.

"The OPM has appointed Jeck Kemong as new head of the West Papuan National Liberation Army. While it is poorly armed and has in recent years focussed on a peaceful push for Papuan self-determination, the OPM says Kelly Kwalik left behind various revolutionary duties which must be completed in a short period of time. The Indonesian military, which aims to wipe out Papuan separatism, is considering establishing a new military command in Papua in addition to its large troop escalation of the last three years. The military says it must remain vigilant in keeping security in the troubled Papua region. However analysts maintain that numerous army-affiliated militia continue to spark violence throughout Papua and remain that region's key security threat. I'm Johnny Blades."