PAPUA NEW GUINEA-IRIAN JAYA BORDER TROUBLE

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (January 12, 1999 - PACNEWS/NBC)---Landowners near Papua New Guinea's border with Indonesia's Irian Jaya province have put up a roadblock, cutting off vehicle access through the border.

The Skou landowners are angry over the Indonesian government not consulting them before sending its buses to operate on the route. The landowners only allow use by private buses and taxis.

PNG's Foreign Affairs officials report that the highway was blocked off early last week, forcing Papua New Guineans to walk back into the country.

The landowners have prevented travelers from using the Indonesia government-owned buses.

The situation is described as tense.

Both governments are trying to arrange a meeting to resolve the issue, after a meeting scheduled between officials from both sides last week, did not take place.

PNG CRACKS DOWN ON ARMS SMUGGLING FROM IRIAN JAYA

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (January 13, 1999 - Radio Australia)---Four men have appeared in court in Papua New Guinea's Western province, charged with possessing unlicensed firearms believed to have been brought in from Indonesia's Irian Jaya province.

Provincial police commander, Chief Inspector Saibu Arko, said the four were arrested during an early morning raid on Monday.

He said police confiscated three homemade guns and two air rifles which the men claimed to have bought from an Irian Jaya refugee.

More raids are expected to be carried out as part of an operation to cut down the number of weapons entering the Western province.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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