30 Nov 2011

Indonesian troop build-up in Papua concerns Americans

7:09 am on 30 November 2011

The US-based West Papua Advocacy Team says signs that more Indonesian security forces are being deployed to Papua region ahead of a significant Papuan anniversary could mean more violence.

December 1st is the 50th anniversary of the declaration of independence from Holland by West Papuans in 1961, a year before Indonesia invaded the territory.

With major celebrations planned to mark the date across Papua, deployments of Indonesian military and special forces have increased.

There's been growing violence linked to security forces in Papua in recent months and the Advocacy Team's Ed McWilliams says they are monitoring events there closely.

"And I know that there are some congressional officers also that are monitoring developments very, very closely; the concern being that we have seen indications of increased troop presence and specifically,dispatching of Kopassus forces to West Papua in advance of the December 1st Anniversary."

Ed McWilliams.