10 Aug 2002

PNG Defence Force asks security council to hunt for pro-independence Papuan rebels

9:18 am on 10 August 2002

In Papua New Guinea, Defence Force bosses have asked the National Security Agency Council to conduct an independent operation to catch OPM rebels on the PNG side of it's shared border with Indonesia.

Senior Defence Force officials have confirmed that OPM leader, Mathias Wende and his group had been operating within PNG and that he is harrassing local people.

The officers said the Defence Force hierarchy has asked the NSAC to conduct an independent operation to catch Mr Wende and his group.

They said no official clearance has been issued and that the Police Commissioenr would also have to issue a callout for the operation to start.

All this comes as PNG and Indonesia held their annual joint border talks in Jayapura last week.