5 Dec 2011

Claims hundreds of Papuans displaced by hunt for rebels

7:39 pm on 5 December 2011

Hundreds of villagers in the Puncak Jaya regency of Indonesia's Papua province are reported to have been displaced by security forces hunting Papuan separatists.

This comes after two police were killed in a reported attack by National Liberation Army rebels on Sunday.

Sweep operations against separatists have increased as hundreds of extra troops have been deployed to Papua in recent weeks.

Nick Chesterfield of West Papua Media Alerts says many villagers have fled to the bush while military have torched churches and buildings.

He says in some instances Papuans have responded violently.

"So certainly we're seeing an upsurge of resistance all over the country and people are resisting in whatever way works the best for them. It might not always be the most strategic way. Certainly, most people in Papua are commited still to the massive resistance and the path of non-violence."

Nick Chesterfield