31 Dec 2002

PNG government told to take firm action against Papua separatist rebels

4:29 pm on 31 December 2002

Government officials in Papua New Guinea are warning the Somare administration that failure to take action against the separatist Free Papua Movement or OPM could result in serious repercussions.

The Post Courier reports Border officials saying that the continued present of OPM militants from Indonesia's Papua province in PNG could lead to more that just an official protest from Jakarta.

The government sources say that an attack against Jarkarta troops earlier this month was the work of OPM rebels who are living in camps on the PNG side of its shared border with Indonesia.

They claim also that the Christmas Eve attack on the family of the human rights activist, John Bonay, involved separatist rebels.

The officials say that the government must make a firm stand now as the OPM is using PNG as a shield to launch their attacks against Indonesia.

They say that Papua New Guineans living near the border are too scared to go out into their gardens for fear of getting caught in any clashes between Indonesian troops and the OPM.