2 Sep 2009

Calls for Indonesia's President to pay more attention to Papua

11:34 am on 2 September 2009

The man who led President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's campaign team in the Papua region for the July presidential election is urging the Government to pay more attention to the province.

Yusak Yaluwo, who heads a district administration in Papua, says the situation is becoming more and more precarious.

The Antara news agency reports him saying there had been sporadic skirmishes between unidentified armed groups and security forces and the flying of the banned flag of the OPM separatist movement.

Yusak also says there are indications the movement is growing stronger after setting up headquarters in Fiji.

He says separatism in Papua poses greater risks than the secessionist movement in Aceh in the past, because in Aceh there had been cultural and religious affinities between insurgents and the government.

He says this means Papua must be handled in a very special way in which many sensitive factors must be taken into account.