11 Feb 2005

Claims Indonesia plan to split Papua will recruit more separatists

5:28 am on 11 February 2005

An advocate for the self determination movement in the Indonesian province of Papua, says Jakarta's plans to split the province into five, will help the independence cause.

The Indonesian government has indicated, that alongside West Papua, which was set up last year, it will create Cendrawasih Bay, North Papua, Central Mountainous Papua and South Papua by 2009.

But Franz Albert Joku says as long as Jakarta tries to force structures on Papua that aren't acceptable to the Papuan people, the drive for independence will grow stronger.

He says Jakarta operates in an ad hoc manner, making no effort to sell its plans to Papuans.

"If they start answering and coming to terms and doing something positive about what the people are demanding with matters such as human rights abuses, other atrocities, the killings, lack of economic development - if these things are attended to, then that will, in my view, dampen the nationalistic fervour."