3 Jul 2004

Separatists in Papua accuse US of cover-up over killings

7:16 am on 3 July 2004

Separatist rebels in Indonesia's Papua province have accused the United States government of a cover-up over the 2002 killings of two American teachers.

The FBI last week charged Anthonius Wamang, an alleged military commander of the Free Papua Movement, or OPM, over the killings.

OPM spokesman John Otto says his group has nothing to do with the killings.

He denies the FBI's allegation his group's a terrorist organisation that targets Americans.

Mr Otto says Mr Wamang, who's still at large in Papua, has proven links with the Indonesian army.

John Otto says survivors of the shooting also believe the army, not the OPM, was behind the incident.

Human rights groups in Papua say the indictment's a way for the U.S. to rebuild military ties with the Indonesian government.

Washington stopped selling arms to Jakarta in 1999 in response to its support of pro-Indonesia militias in East Timor.