29 Sep 2005

Indonesia minister denies reported secret army deployment to Papua

10:10 am on 29 September 2005

Indonesia's defence minister has denied reports that a large number of soldiers have been sent the province of Papua.

The Antara News Agency reports Juwono Sudarsono as saying that what has happened is a routine rotation of troops in the troubled province.

The minister was responding to a question in a parliamentary committee hearing, about reports that troop withdrawals from Aceh had been followed by secret deployment of more forces to Papua.

Mr Juwono says there have been many untrue reports both from local as well as foreign media on the matter.