PNG TO INCREASE MILITARY PRESENCE ALONG IRIAN JAYA BORDER

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (February 18, 1999 - Radio Australia)---The Papua New Guinea Government will increase its military presence along the country's border with Indonesian-controlled Irian Jaya.

Radio Australia correspondent Richard Dinnen reports from Port Moresby:

"A PNG Defense Force unit will move to the town of Wutung, to monitor the Irian Jayan border in close co-operation with the Indonesian military.

"Both sides are concerned about the movement across the border of rebels aligned with pro-independence groups in Irian Jaya.

"The troop build-up is under an agreement reached between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia last year, but the implementation of it seems to have been expedited, following reports a few days ago that Indonesia wants permission for its troops to operate inside PNG territory against Irian Jayan rebels.

"The request for so-called hot pursuit rights was reportedly made by Indonesia some time ago, but the Papua New Guinea Government has so far not confirmed that it has received such a request.

"Richard Dinnen, Port Moresby."

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