14 Nov 2017

NZ's Peters asked to help end Papua standoff

12:04 pm on 14 November 2017

New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters is being asked to appeal to Jakarta to peacefully negotiate an end a stand off in Papua.

Winston Peters

Winston Peters Photo: AFP

The call from West Papua Action in Auckland came amid reports of up to 1300 people being held hostage in two villages near Timika.

Indonesian authorities claimed the people are being held by an armed wing of the Free Papua Movement, but that group has denied this.

The villages were in an area where several shootings had taken place, near the Freeport mine, since August.

The NGO said its main concern was with the build-up of military force in a sensitive area.

It said this could lead to more violence and it wanted Mr Peters to appeal to his Indonesian counterparts because a greater military involvement will only exacerbate an already tense situation.

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