PNG and Indonesia address military border mistakes

2:10 pm on 17 November 2016

Military officials from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea have resolved outstanding cases relating to territorial mistakes around the common border.

Indonesia's navy mistakenly built a jetty in PNG territory in 2010, while PNGDF soldiers mistakenly removed an Indonesian flag in Indonesian territory in August 2015.

Indonesian soldiers man the border with Papua New Guinea at Wutung.

Indonesian soldiers man the border with Papua New Guinea at Wutung. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The newspaper, The National, reports the mistakes along the border were addressed during a sub-committee on security meeting in Port Moresby.

PNGDF officer Col Eddie Yodu said they had identified that PNGDF soldiers mistakenly built an international border marker away from its original 141st meridian position at the Torassi River.

The original marker had reportedly been washed away by flooding in 2011.

PNG soldiers built a replacement marker without consulting the PNG and Indonesian joint technical sub-committee on border survey and demarcation.

The sub-committee has confirmed a new marker has to be built where the original marker had been, under its supervision.

Col Yodu said the Indonesians had built a jetty about 22 metres into PNG territory in Western province.

The jetty was built for Indonesian marines to access their naval post, however the naval post was in Indonesia's Papua province.

The Indonesians have been advised to remove the jetty and build it on their side.

Col Yodu said this week that the cases had been resolved.

He added that PNG was to send a diplomatic apology for its soldiers removing the Indonesian flag from Yakyu village which is officially two kilometres inside Indonesian territory.

PNGDF personnel made an error in claiming the village is a PNG village.

Col Yodu said that although the villagers were Papua New Guineans, the Indonesian government was providing them with health and education services.

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