FREE PAPUA GANGS FIGHT ONE ANOTHER, TWO PEOPLE KILLED

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (July 18, 2001 - Joyo Indonesian News/ANTARA/ TAPOL)---Two people were killed and another was seriously injured in clashes between two rebel Free Papua Organization (OPM) armed gangs in an area on the border between Indonesia's Irian Jaya province and Papua New Guinea (PNG), a military source said.

The source at the Pattimura Military Command headquarters in Jayapura said Wednesday that the incidents involved an OPM group led by Mathias Wenda and another headed by Terry Yaram.

The clashes were apparently part of a power struggle between the two gangs and followed Wenda's recent release from a PNG jail where he had served part of a six-month sentence for illegally entering the neighboring country.

When Wenda was in jail, the OPM leadership was run by Terry Yaram, but after Wenda regained his freedom and reclaimed his position, Yaram refused to give up his powers.

The armed clashes were the result of Wenda's and Yaram's failure to resolve their conflict amicably, the source said.

At the time this report was filed, the situation in the area where the clashes occurred was reported to be still tense.

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 

 

AUSTRALIAN SENATOR SAYS REPORTS OF VIOLENCE IN WEST PAPUA

CANBERRA, Australia (July 20, 2001 – Radio Australia)--An Australian Senator says there are widespread reports of killings and looting by Indonesian forces in West Papua in recent days.

Bob Brown, a Senator with the minor Greens Party, says activists in West Papua have contacted his office to report that 5,000 people have fled their homes in the towns of Wasior and Manokwari.

Senator Brown says the Indonesian military is using the power vacuum in Jakarta to run amok in Irian Jaya.

The Senator says he's sent details to Australia's Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, and urged immediate action by the Australian government.

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

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