30 Dec 2006

Indonesian military build-up in Papua's Punjak Jaya province

6:29 am on 30 December 2006

There have been fresh warnings of an Indonesian military build-up in the Punjak Jaya region of Papua province.

The Reverend Socratez Sofyan Yoman, who heads the Communion of Baptist churches in Papua, holds grave concerns for the civilian population over reports that more troops are moving in amid a recent series of tensions into Bolakme, West of Wamena near Mulia.

OPM activists of the Goliat Tabuni tribes in the Punjak Jaya region have been raising the banned Morning Star flag in acts of defiance against Indonesian rule.

But Reverend Yoman denies reports that Goliat Tabuni members killed two Indonesian military officers near Mulia earlier this month.

He says the killings were carried out by the Indonesian military itself to make it appear like more separatist attacks, in order to justify the troop build-up...

"This is their main purpose: additional troops in West Papua and also how to establish a new province, another province, in the Highlands. They're trying to create conflict or destabilise in this area."