ACEH RULING COULD AFFECT PAPUA MINING

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Companies responsible for behavior of security

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 1,2008) - Analysts say a U.S. federal court ruling involving energy giant Exxonmobil and Indonesia’s military has major implications for international companies working in regions like Papua.

The court ruled that ExxonMobil has a case to answer in the suit over alleged killings and torture by Indonesian troops protecting the company’s gas project in Aceh province.

The director of the Australia-based Mineral Policy Institute, Techa Beaumont, says the decision acknowledges that if companies pay government militia to do their dirty work then they are also responsible for their conduct.

She says the ruling means that U.S. company Freeport McMoran, which runs the Grasberg mine in Papua, should reconsider paying Indonesian military to safeguard its local operations.

An Australian political scientist, Damien Kingsbury, says the ruling is a significant step toward addressing the human rights agenda in Indonesia and the culpability of the Indonesian military over a long period of time.

 

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