PNG TO DEPORT IRIANESE SEPARATIST LEADERS WENDA AND ALLOM

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (June 20, 2001 – Jakarta Post/Joyo Indonesian news/Antara/TAPOL)---Papua New Guinea (PNG) will deport Irianese separatist group leader Mathias Wenda to Jayapura, Irian Jaya Police chief Insp. Gen. Made Mangku Pastika said on Wednesday.

"We have received confirmation about this but we do not know when Wenda will be deported," Made Mangku said, as quoted by Antara in Jayapura.

Besides Wenda, PNG will also deport separatist leader, Simon Allom, he said.

He said he had received information that Wenda has been jailed for six months in PNG's Wewak district for entering PNG illegally.

The police chief also said that the separatist group, the Free Papua Movement (OPM), had asked churches in Irian Jaya to mediate in the release of two Belgians who had been held hostage by the separatist group since last month in the jungles of Irian Jaya.

Johan Elia Theo van Dem Eynde (47) and Phillippe RD Simon (49) were recently abducted after visiting Palugan village in Puncak Jaya district.

Irian Jaya, Indonesia's easternmost province, shares a border with PNG. It has been facing a separatist movement for years.

Paul Barber TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign 25 Plovers Way, Alton Hampshire GU34 2JJ Tel/Fax: 01420 80153 Email: plovers@gn.apc.org  Internet: www.gn.apc.org/tapol 

 

BELGIANS TV DOCUMENTARY MAKERS REPORTEDLY HELD HOSTAGE BY FREE PAPUA MOVEMENT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (June 20, 2001 - Jakarta Post/PINA Nius Online)---A district head is negotiating with a Free Papua Movement (OPM) group leader to release two TV documentary makers held hostage in West Papua, the Jakarta Post reported.

Belgians Johan Van den Eynde, 47, and Philippe R.D. Simon, 49, were reported missing on June 10, reportedly while making a documentary for Franco-German TV channel Arte. They have been held hostage by Free Papua Movement rebels in remote Palugan village, Ilaga district, the Jakarta Post said.

Armed rebels of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) are waging a war for independence against Indonesian forces in West Papua, which borders Papua New Guinea. Indonesia took over the resource-rich territory from the Dutch in the 1960s and named it the province of Irian Jaya.

Antara news agency reported that Ilaga district head Obadja Wakerwa has continued negotiations with local Free Papua Movement leader Penny Murib to free the Belgian men.

Irian Jaya Police Chief Ins. Gen. Made Mangku Pastika confirmed that the police had handed over negotiation for the release of the hostages to Obadja.

He also said the two Belgians had been advised against continuing their trip to Ilaga due to security reasons, the Jakarta Post reported.

The rebels are demanding, among other things, freedom for Irian Jaya (West Papua) and that they be allowed to hoist the Morning Star pro-independence flag, Pastika was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post.

He said the police could not meet such demands but would help the Ilaga district head in obtaining the release of the two hostages.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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