MOVE AFOOT TO CREATE THIRD PAPUA PROVINCE

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Churchman nixes idea as violence continues

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 31, 2010) – A Papuan church leader says creating another province out of the Indonesian half of New Guinea is not the answer to the ongoing conflict in Papua region.

A plan to create Central Papua as a new and additional province to the exising two, Papua and West Papua, appears to be gaining traction in the Regional House of Representatives.

The deputy chairman of a House Commission considering draft legislation on regional division has urged local figures to commit themselves to the establishment of a new province in the Highlands region.

But Socrataz Sofyan Yoman of the West Papua Baptist Church says creating a new province is unnecessary.

"Conflict is increasing, especially in the Puncak Jaya area. More troops and police are going there. This is the saddest problem (the militarisation of Papua). We try to look for the way to solve this problem: a peaceful negotiation is the proper way."

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