27 Dec 2006

Concerns Papua flag-raising campaign will renew conflict in the province

11:10 am on 27 December 2006

Human rights advocates say a flag-raising campaign in Indonesian Papua's Highlands could escalate into open conflict between tribal warriors and Indonesian troops.

Free Papua Movement (OPM) activists of the Goliat Tabuni tribes in the Punjak Jaya region have been raising the banned Morning Star flag in acts of defiance against Indonesian rule.

Human rights workers reported that OPM warriors on Sunday occupied Mulia,

the Punjak Jaya capital

The warriors later withdrew into the mountains, but Indonesian police and

troops are reported to be preparing to attack them there

Goliat Tabuni members are reported to have killed two members of the Indonesian military in the mountains near Mulia earlier this month.