19 Jan 2010

Free Papua Movement appoints new military commander

7:31 pm on 19 January 2010

The Free Papua Movement, or the OPM, has approved the appointment of a new Supreme Commander of its military wing to replace the late Kelly Kwalik.

Jeck Kemong has been appointed head of the West Papuan National Liberation Army, or the TPN, and will also take over the regional command of Nemang Kawi.

Kelly Kwalik, who was a popular Papuan separatist leader for almost four decades, was shot in a police raid in Timika in the Indonesia's Papua region last month, having evaded security forces for years.

The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, which includes the OPM, has released a statement confirming the appointment of General Kemong to take over from Kelly Kwalik who it says left behind him various revolutionary duties which must be completed in a short period of time.

In recent years the poorly-armed OPM has focused on pushing for dialogue and other peaceful forms of resolving the Papuan bid for self-determination.