27 Feb 2013

New Indonesian Ambassador to Vanuatu fends off claims over Papua attacks

5:00 am on 27 February 2013

Indonesia's new ambassador to Vanuatu has fended off suggestions that his country's military could have engineered last week's deadly attacks on soldiers in Papua.

Nadjip Riphat Kesoema presented his credentials to Vanuatu's President, Iolu Johnson Abil on Tuesday and told a press conference afterwards that he is deeply saddened by the latest violence in Papua.

Eight Indonesian soldiers and four civilians were killed in two separate shooting incidents in the Highlands.

Military chiefs have blamed the OPM Free West Papua Movement but some international commentators say elements of Indonesia's military may have engineered the killings.

Mr Nadjip says this is absurd.

"How could you say that and how the accusation could be directed toward the Indonesian people? We are people of peace, we do not want to kill our people. And even in some incidents that the allegation is directed towards the Indonesian police and army: I think it's not true."

Nadjip Riphat Kesoema.