Indonesia monitors foreign links to West Papua rebels

INDONESIAN security services have suspicions but no firm proof that individual foreigners had linked with Papuan armed separatist groups.

“There are some suspicious that several foreign nationals personally maybe have links with those groups,” Lieutenant Colonel Jansen Simanjuntak told The Australian.

Lt-Colonel Jansen, spokesman for the Cenderawasih Military Command which oversees Indonesia’s two Papua provinces, was responding to the arrest and charging of an Australian man this week suspected of trying to join the separatist fight.

Prosecutors told Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday (05/12) that 45-year-old Gerard Michael Little was about to travel to West Papua to engage in “violent conflict against the Indonesian government” when he was arrested.

Little allegedly identified himself on a Facebook page as “Colonel G. Micheal Little, commanding officer OPM”, the Free Papua Movement.

The case is likely to prove long-held suspicions in TNI and BIN, the national security agency, that foreigners including NGOs and even missionaries, are fomenting unrest in the Papua provinces.

“Foreign individuals help to link separatist groups with foreign parties which can give moral support or material support,” said Lt-Colonel Jansen.

OPM has an armed wing engaged in sporadic clashes with Indonesian forces, usually the police.

Most recently, an OPM group in Lanny Jaya district, Papua, claimed responsibility for a November 27 attack on a police post that killed three officers.

Source: The Australian

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Filed under Papua, Separatism

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