|In recent weeks large
numbers of Indonesian soldiers, including special forces, have been
deployed to the Punkak Jaya region of West Papua, causing an
tribespeople to flee into the jungle.
The military build-up is in response to the killing of two soldiers
near the town of Mulia on December 9, 2006. The army blames West
Papua's separatist fighters, the OPM, for the killings. but local
human rights activists are sceptical, saying the military often
generates conflicts in the province to justify its own lucrative
Many of the more vulnerable tribespeople are likely to die from
starvation, too scared to leave their hideaways to collect food. In
2004 a similar operation in the highlands resulted in 6,000 fleeing
their homes; at least 23 died from starvation.
The military regards anyone it finds as suspects, and treats them
with brutality. Human rights workers and outsiders are banned from
the area during these operations so the outside world remains
largely oblivious to the atrocities that may be unfolding.
Zie Kamervragen over deze
kwestie en de antwoorden daarop van de Minister van Buitenlandse
Zaken Maxime Verhagen