18 Nov 2002

Indonesia's Kopassus special forces has been accused of abucting prominent Papuans

11:32 am on 18 November 2002

Indonesia's Kopassus special forces have been accused in a newspaper report of undermining Jakarta's policy of autonomy for the province of Papua by abducting and killing prominent Papuans.

The Brisbae Courier Mail says in the latest incident, a local man, who was organising a trekking tour in the Highlands for five tourists from Brisbane, was reportedly taken by Kopassus.

The abduction was reported by a group of Papuan students, who said it took place in view of people outside the terminal of Sentani Airport near the regional capital, Jayapura.

Silas Yikwa has not been seen since and there are grave fears for his safety.

He has operated for six years as a tour guide for an Indonesian company and only last month registered his own company, West Papuan Paradise Tours.

The trekking holiday was the inauguration of Paradise Tours, which had been formed by Mr Yikwa using Papuan expertise rather than Javanese.