The tribal revolutionaries in Irian Jaya have been subdued and surrendered, say Indonesian sources. But as SOEHARJONO reports from Jayapura, Jakarta is taking no chances.
Indonesia versus the Stone Age
Indonesian troops are still conducting mopping up operations against OPM agents who are believed to have infiltrated among the Dani tribes.
The situation is under control, according to the sources. "The Dani quickly repent once they realise that they have done wrong," one source says.
Indonesian authorities at indoctrination sessions tell the tribesmen that they have been misled by the
OPM which has "brought death and destruction to their peaceful land."
''We cannot force them, but we must persuade them of the benefits of change," one official says. "Once we know how to deal with them and they can feel the advantage of what we want, they will accept."
Police sources say the OPM has alienated the tribesmen by using force on them to support the separatist cause.
They claim rebel remnants in several places have attacked Dani tribesmen who did not support the rebels.
But the police add that it is the OPM's tough tactics and serious food shortage in the Central Highlands that are bringing more and more of the tribesmen to surrender.
At a recent surrender ceremony in the capital, Jayapura, a Dani chief handed in his spear to the police and proclaimed that his men had turned to the "right path" and would remain loyal to Indonesia.
Despite the improved security situation, Indonesia maintains a strong military presence in Irian Jaya.
Several new army detachments have arrived in Wamena, the capital of the Baliem Valley, but officials say they are replacements for soldiers who have completed their tour of duty.
Indonesian Army units are based in jungles, particularly in the border areas, to prevent crossings by
rebels who have taken refuge in Papua New Guinea.
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