18 Jan 2007

Papuan clergy seek resolution to humanitarian crisis in Puncak Jaya

1:12 pm on 18 January 2007

Church leaders in Indonesia's Papua Province are reporting

that 5,000 people have been driven from their villages by Indonesian security forces.

Representatives from 20 different churches in Punjak Jaya have met with the Human rights group ELSHAM to try and resolve what they describe as a humanitarian crisis.

They say 5000 people frmo the Yamu district have been displaced by the Indonesian military and police operations that started last month and are said to be hiding in the jungle.

The clergy say there is no civilian access allowed into

the region and the security forces deny them access.

One civilian has reportedly been shot dead by military in Yamu District.

The military operations are reportedly in response to the killing of two military personal near the town of Mulia in December 2006

Local sources report that there are 3000 troops in the town centre of Puncak Jaya, and additional Paramilitary Police and military undertaking operations outside the town.

ELSHAM reports that many civilian houses have been burned and that Government buildings and vehicles have been reportedly taken over by the military.