Violence continues in West Papua

A January 19 press statement by the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre condemned Indonesian military operations in the Central Highlands (Puncak Jaya) region, which have forced thousands of locals to flee to the bush. The operation follows the killing of two military personnel near Mulia in December, which the military has blamed on the Free Papua Movement (OPM). The PCRC's Rex Rumakiek said that "the response is again no different from operations in previous years. Instead of the police working with tribal leaders, churches and NGOs to find those responsible, a full military operation is the Indonesian army's choice of action." Rumakiek called on the Australian government to send a fact finding mission to West Papua before finalising its bilateral treaty with Indonesia. "Any treaty including the exchange and acceptance of aid in any form with Indonesia at the present time is shameful and must be condemned outright."

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