25 Jan 2013

Indonesian border incidents being addressed on mutual terms, says PNG Foreign Minister

3:12 pm on 25 January 2013

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister says incidents between villagers and Indonesian soldiers along the border will be dealt with on mutual terms.

The Post Courier says Rimbink Pato offered the explanation following confrontations in recent weeks between disgruntled Wutung people and Indonesian troops.

Mr Pato says the tension stems over restrictions set by Indonesian border authorities on access for Wutung people to their food gardens on the other side of the border.

This access had been agreed to by the two countries under the traditional border crossing arrangements in the Treaty of Mutual Respect, Friendship and Cooperation signed in 1986.

The minister says an investigation is underway to ascertain the facts surrounding the incidents.

He says possible measures could include stopping access for PNG citizens to Batas market on the Indonesia side.