21 Oct 2013

Papua tribes threaten Jayapura airport

2:55 pm on 21 October 2013

Four tribal groups in the Indonesian province of Papua have threatened to shut down Sentani Airport in Jayapura.

The tribes of Palo, Taime, Yoku and Kopeo are considered to be the owners of the land to be used for the airport's new development.

The groups say the airport has not paid compensation for their customary rights over the land.

One of the leaders, Thobias Palo, has told the news organisation Tempo that the threat of closure and blockade will be translated into action immediately if their demands are not met.

The groups have also asked the workers building the airport to stop their activities.

Mr Palo says they have not received even a small sum of money while demanding what was in line with the prevailing value of the land.

However, Mr Palo says the tribal groups will follow the correct procedure by consulting the Papua Provincial Council to express their concerns about the issue.