19 Jan 2010

Indonesian army names new commander for Papua region

9:01 pm on 19 January 2010

The Chiefs of Staff of Indonesia's military forces have appointed a former officer with the Kopassus special forces, Major General Hotma Marbun, as the new military commander of West Papua and Papua provinces.

The Muslim from northern Sumatra succeeds Major General Azmyn Yusri Nasution.

The Army Chief of Staff General George Toisutta, who was guest of honour at the transfer of duties ceremony.

The Antara news agency quotes General Toisutta as saying the area overseen by the Cenderawasih regional military command shares a border with Papua New Guinea with which Indonesia should maintain good relations.

The military has been widely accused of inflicting ongoing human rights abuses on the Melanesian population of Papua region for four decades, and extensive involvement in a broad range of illegal business activites.